The Prodigy’s fifth album, and the much-publicised re-instatement of ‘Keef’ Flint to the group.
Ah; Keith Flint: a man who has made himself world famous by shouting lyrics whilst scaring the hell out of small kids with his multiple piercings, tattoos, and Mohican hairdo. Let us not forget Flint’s role in the Prodigy saga so far: Experience: Did not feature; Music For A Jilted Generation: Did not feature; The Fat Of The Land: Provides vocals for 3 of its 10 songs; Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Did not feature; Invaders Must Die: Provides vocals for 4 of its 11 songs.
When we think of The Prodigy, however, it’s fair to assume that the vast majority of us think of Flint. And, although his appearances are few and far between, the best songs on The Fat Of The Land were the ones Flint ‘sang’ on, and this album is no different. His snarling, aggressive style may be old hat now, but it’s still effective, and without the murkiness of his performances, this album would be truly bland. Would it kill the man to put some effort into his lyrics, though?
I know that judging The Prodigy by their lyrics is akin to judging a footballer by his IQ, but can you ever have a great album with lyrics like (Take Me To The Hospital’s):
‘Along came a spider/ He was creepy like Dracula/ He spoke like he was a friend/ So I came with adrenaline’?
Dreadful as these words may be, they do not provide the lowest point of the album. This comes courtesy of the final track Stand Up, which sounds like something that has crawled out of Mark Ronson’s studio (I cannot think of a bigger insult). Even Dave Grohl’s drumming can’t polish this almighty turd.
Invaders Must Die is dark and dirty, but not as dark and dirty as Music For A Jilted Generation; it’s cool, but not as cool as The Fat Of The Land; it’s 90s electro-trance (come on Liam, let ‘aceeed’ house go; it’s not 1992 any more), but not as 90s electro-trance as Experience. If I’m in the mood for The Prodigy, therefore, I will put on one of the above, and not this.