The electro dance duo best known for their kick-ass beats in the 90s return after a two year cooling off period, with Lorde hand-picking them for the new Hunger Games movie soundtrack. You see, Lorde’s name sells now, and so she’s been asked to curate the record, choosing the boys as one of the artists to spice things up a bit. But has she made the right choice in choosing the British act?
The track kicks off with an eerily reminiscent synth sound from early Chemical Brothers hit Setting Sun, before stomping on new ground with hip-hop beats and vocals provided by Miguel. The production tries to create something new and adventurous but at times gets bogged down and loses its way. Miguel’s vocals unfortunately sound out of place; maybe a more subtle tone would have suited the deep, fuzzy synths, with the singer’s voice getting lost in the song. This is improved slightly with the addition of Lorde’s vocals every now and then, but it just feels like they made the wrong choice with the main singer.
The track features a nice middle section with a satisfying low hum, creating a laid back and sincere vibe, but all too quickly it takes you away from this direction and is covered up by a wall of synths once more. The Chemical Brothers are usually at the top of their game with a catchy hook or two, but with the addition of a hip-hop feel, they seem to have lost their way a little.
This is not a Game is a slightly disappointing return for the electro pioneers. It misses the invention and madness of other Chemical Brothers efforts, sounding a little laboured and drawn out. We know what they’re capable of so lets hope any new material is a return to form.