Fatboy Slim

Palookaville

As much as you may hate to admit it, Fatboy Slim is a genius. From his own sampledelic songs to his slamming remixes, the British producer has an uncanny knack for making people sweat it on the dance floor. The only problem is that even geniuses get bored. On his fourth LP, the artist formerly known as Norman Cook seems far more interested in writing pop songs -- albeit electronically infused pop songs -- than dance material. The two outright techno bangers feel rote and dashed off, whereas the sun-kissed downtempo ballads and more traditionally structured pop numbers (featuring live instrumentation) are giddy and vibrant. Best-track honors go to either "Put It Back Together," a woozy soul tune featuring a joyously knackered vocal by Blur's Damon Albarn, or "Wonderful Night," one of two swinging, raptastic collabs with Oakland MC Lateef the Truth Speaker. Fatboy Slim once suggested he was "fucking in heaven." With Palookaville, he's still there -- only now he's moved heaven's locale from the dance floor to the living room.

 
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