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The Chemical Brothers 

Push the Button

Wednesday, Feb 16 2005
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Push the Button marks the return of the electronica eclecticism the Chemical Brothers infected the masses with back in the halcyon, glow-stick-lit days of the mid-'90s. The album is littered with such ephemera as kung-fu gongs, funk-bass thwacks, electro jew's-harp whirs, cameos (from Bloc Party, Anwar Superstar, and others), indie-rock licks, and even some good ol'-fashioned "get me a bottle of water and someone to make out with" house beats. Push does lose its buzz in places: "The Big Jump," for example, doesn't do much more than prove the Brothers are aware that electroclash happened. But particularly in their inventive, sometimes downright gorgeous hip hop grooves -- Q-Tip waltzes with a Moroccan string sample on "Galvanize"; "Shake, Break, Bounce" breeds dancehall with more North African strings and an acoustic guitar -- the boys demonstrate their mastery of mélange, filling each measure with shivery waterfalls of sound while reining in their various and sundry references with a firm hook and an insistent beat.

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Rachel Devitt

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