When the red is fighting the blue, when human rights and free speech are still being defended, as we the dollar sinks and the debt rises, as we’re all still pushing to keep our personal world running, the Chemical Brothers come to our rescue with our anthem for 2005. All we need to do is Push The Button.
Each song stands on its own and inspires a different, powerful emotion, almost commanding you to take control or yourself and any challenge that confronts you, or take a trip around the city, or get dirty under the sheets. There’s that overriding sense of familiarity in style, knowing the true Chemical formula, but now there a whole new set of liquid tubes flown in from Planet Dust.
The doors are kicked down with “Galvanize” with a juxtaposition of those signature, chunky beats lying underneath determined violin strings and Q-Tip throwing down the elements from “Just Tell Me The Truth” by Najat Aatabu, “World, the time is coming to galvanize/World, the time is time to push the button/World, my finger is on the button.” A bit of Hate Dept., industrial-esque tone sets the dark yet inspiring mood, needing you to, telling you to, for god’s sakes, “Believe” in something already.
Then “Hold Tight London,” we’re in for a trippy ride. It’s 3 am and the colors of the night stream across your face like streamers in a parade as you ride the double-decker bus to sunrise, but Anna-Lynne Williams (although I could have sworn it was Sarah McLachlan) is at your side to comfort and serenade so sweetly. But the party’s not over yet. Pull out the bass line from “White Lines,” it’s time for round two for the “Oh, this has got to be Chemical Brothers” track, “Come Inside,” with all the classic elements, the build up, the punch in your stomach breaks, and the saucy invitation to come inside.
Okay, now it’s time to throw those steel toed boots on and hit the dance floor. Warm up with the heavy funk of “The Big Jump” so you can march down the streets with “Left, Right,” as Anwar leading the pack, “What’s the difference Between Bush and Saddam…Osama bin Laden or Iddi Amin, Fidel Castro/It seems to me their on the same team/Their hate only leads to innocent blood streams/If it’s so important for us to fight for mankind/Well, I don’t see none of their kinfolk out on the front line.”
This is followed up succinctly with “Close Your Eyes” that has an overwhelming “wrap the universe around my little finger” embrace, glittering with warmth wishes. And before you get too cushy, break out the Jungle Book bear costume of coconuts and a grass skirt, it’s time to boogie to the “Shake Break Bounce.”
Ten years after I was standing at a Tower Records listening station going, “Holy crap Batman! Who the heck is this? What is this?” while the tracks of Exit Planet Dust invaded my brain, it’s evident that in 2005 the Brothers are continuing to inspire, to affect the world, music, and our bodies as only they can do. Not that their music wasn’t important before, but this time they are showing their maturity with the message of hope, a call to action, and the motivation to move on the dancefloor and in your every day life.