After I have listened to the first tracks of The Prodigy‘s album ‘No Tourists’, I wanted to shout: “The 90s gave me a call and they want their music back!”. Is this a rather good or bad reaction?
Let us pause briefly. ‘The Prodigy’ has redefined, respectively defined, the foundation of the music genres Big Beat and Electropunk. They created über-hits like No Good, Poison, Firestarter, Breathe, Omen and many more. All this can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s unfair to expect that ‘The Prodigy’ constantly must prove or even surpass their past achievements. My first impression of ‘No Tourists’ is more like: “Let’s do some less experimentation and progression, but pay a little more attention to the Prodigy fans of the 90s”. Back to the roots, then.
So, ‘No Tourists’ is an open love letter to the long-lasting die-hard fans of ‘The Prodigy’. I think it’s not immoral, instead of being innovative, if you can rely on your strengths. And before judging too harsh, ask yourself this question: “How can something be iconic, when you can repeat it every time with ease?”.
Let’s start the dance
‘Need Some1‘ is the first single and comes with brutal big beats that hits the ground hard like bomb. Samples of breaking glass and rough guitars are literally screaming: “We are back!”. The track is based on the simple and typical ‘The Prodigy’ DNA, but I think this is a great opener and works well. Others should first prove that they can compete here, before rolling the eyes.
My absolute highlight on this album is the second track ‘Light Up The Sky‘. I have to admit, that it reminds me partly like a bastard pop cousin between ‘Breathe’ and ‘Omen’. But what the boys are doing here in three minutes and nineteen in dynamics and power is as explosive as dynamite. Great job!
The first seconds of the song ‘We Live Forever’ really speed up and you want to believe you’re on a 90s rave. Here you quickly get the feeling that it is an unreleased song of the ‘Music For A Jilted Generation’ session. Pure nostalgic paired with the technical power of modernity.
Shifting a gear back
The title song ‘No Tourists’ makes it a bit slower, but with a more bass-like blast! The song has a solid base. What is really missing is more variety. With more lyrics, and that applies to all tracks in principle, the songs would be much stronger and less monotonous.
Boredom first appeared on the song ‘Fight Fire With Fire (Feat. Ho9909)’. The track is not a total failure now, but glory does not sting ‘The Prodigy’ here.
‘Timebomb Zone‘ reminds me of many other songs that I can not call them by name now. It’s almost a kind of a best of all the well-known ’90s Techno, Acid and Eurobeat songs. A mashup that looks familiar, but already rebuilt. Creepy and interesting at the same time. I think it’s not bad, but even hereby the guys from Essex win no prize.
A last peak
With the seventh piece ‘Champion Of London’, ‘The Prodigy’ once again flare up an awesome, sonically and colourful firework. Everything is coherent here: Speed, power and dynamics merge here to create a musical fireball without equal.
Civil unrest, grab the bullet proof vestLyrics from 'Champions Of London' by The Prodigy
‘Boom Boom Tap’ is probably Prodigy’s answer to Kraftwerk‘s ‘Boing Boom Tschak’ from the album ‘Electric Café‘. Of course interpreted in good, old Big Beat manner. Personally, not quite my cup of tea, but the idea is nice and solid realized.
‘Give Me a Signal (feat Barns Courtney)’ also exudes a certain nostalgia. Most likely, I would compare the track with those on the ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned’. Especially the ones where ‘Juliette Lewis‘ was involved.
Should I buy a ticket for this Prodigy ride?
The album is clearly aimed at the fans of the old ‘The Prodigy’ school, which I respect and find in some places really good. That is, a clear buy recommendation for all ravers and technos of the early 90s.
Everyone else knows the well-known ‘The Prodigy’ phenomenon. Few tracks are the hell of madness and the rest goes along with it. My favourites and play recommendation are ‘Need Some1’, ‘Light Up The Sky’, ‘We Live Forever’ and ‘Champions Of London’. Decide for yourself whether this is worth an album or whether it makes more sense to buy the individual songs.