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CD Review: Oblivion with Bells

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Artist: Underworld
Album: Oblivion with Bells
Label: ATO Records
Released: October 16, 2007

Back in September, Underworld played an inspired set at the Hollywood Bowl that still has my friends raving about their performance, which has made me a little envious that I missed it. Underworld is one of these rare electronica acts that demand your attention. With their latest release, Oblivion with Bells, Karl Hyde and Darren Emerson have created an album that showcases the depth of their work. From pulsing thump of the first track, Crocodile, to the chilled grooves of the last track, Best Mamgu Ever, this album explores the various ebbs and flows of the electronica landscape. Crocodile is the anchor track of the album, it is classic Underworld, and the beats will leave you dancing with glow sticks in your living room. While Glam Bucket is a psychedelic rhapsody track that deserves multiple listens. The record is not as dark or heavy as previous Underworld releases, but it is still satisfying. Karl Hyde's voice is inspired and full of purpose, while Darren Emerson's beats are just sick. The return of Darren Price has also helped the group evolve their music. Oblivion with Bells is an album that you have to listen in order from the beginning to end as it flows from song to song with purpose and continuity. If you are not a big fan of the mellow and chilled stuff that is present in this album, download Crocodile, Beautiful Burnout, Boy Boy Boy, and Holding the Moth, and you will be happy. Otherwise just get the whole album, drive out to the deserts, and enjoy the musical journey.