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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Better Living Through Chemistry

Fatboy Slim

1996

Buy At Rough Trade
Better Living Through Chemistry
Album Summary

Wikipedia

Rating

3.01

Votes

10425

Genres

  • Electronica

Reviews

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

You can almost feel where each song is going before it goes there. Haters may call this "predictable" but I call it a "goddamn good time". [Looks directly at camera to address Haters] Lighten up, Haters, this guy's name is Fatboy. He named himself Fatboy. Were you expecting restraint? Did you think Fatboy was gonna sit down at the control table and slowly, tastefully nibble and sample. This is a feast of repetition. A-

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Mon Oct 16 2023
5

One of my first ever Amazon.com purchases (back when they had first expanded to selling music in addition to books). I don't even know why I wanted it, but I did. Still slaps top to bottom.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Really enjoyed this. Made me feel like an extra in a rave scene. Good working music. Fun. Easy. Not my genre at all but it clicked with me today for some reason.

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Mon May 17 2021
1

The title is a dead giveaway. This might be OK if you are full of E's but otherwise it's just someone messing about in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Utter tripe.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Fun! Catchy, energetic dance music. Good for working and staying energized.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
4

Nonsense music that I typically would not listen to but will gladly dance to.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
4

Fun upbeat dance music that isn't awful to listen to while doing other things.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
2

I’m not chewing my face off in a club in the 90s, where this music fits in. It’s not really my bag in general and is very out of place in my ‘working from home on a wed morning’ playlist.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
1

Terrible. I can't believe not one but two fatboy slim albums are on this list. Terrible music and terrible album choice. May god have mercy on the person that decided to put fatboy slim on here.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
1

Dull and dated. If I were being generous I'd say I'm sure a fully sober middle-aged woman listening to this at 7am is not the target audience, but I found it boring in 1995 too. Just makes me want to listen to the Beastie Boys.

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Wed Aug 04 2021
5

I should go back to Fatboy Slim more often. Really takes me back and reminds me of the Jet Set Radio soundtrack

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Sun Dec 24 2023
5

Almost archetypal of Big Beat, Norman Cook proves himself an absolute master of yet another genre. This is the dude from The Housemartins who went on to score Number 1s as Beats International (dub be good to me) and Freak Power (Turn on, tune in, cop out) before defining a (rather large) subset of the 90s UK music scene. Yes - this is repetitive. It's big beat, it's supposed to be. The beats are supported by often near incomprehensible vocal samples. Inevitably in the mainstream club scene, people would attempt to sing along to these vocals, and there was honestly something genuinely lovely about watching towny lads in the 90s, clad in their uniform Ben Sherman shirts, chanting "Gay porn gay porn gay porn" as "Give the po' man a break" spun on the Techniks. It's not Cook's best ever work, but it sure is some of his most influential.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

Simply excellent. Maintains energy without falling into incomprehensibility. Wish I had discovered this album earlier. Five stars.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Not his biggest, yet still excellent

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Mon Dec 18 2023
5

Excellent little Tuesday morning rinse up. First Down gives me big Jungle Love 2017 feelings

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

It must have had something to do with the circumstance but I found this to be an effective way to shake off some cobwebs. By this point, Fatboy Slim's deft touch of the materials at hand resulted in some of the more enjoyable and all around effortless songs in his catalog, especially with the one-two-three punch of Punk to Funk, The Sound of Milwaukee and Michael Jackson towards the end. Is it better living through chemistry? In my experience, I best believe.

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

Drive a la techno Infectious you best dance beats Samples, sounds, on point

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Wed Mar 13 2024
5

I've always kind of liked "Better Living..." better than "You've Come a Long Way..." by Fatboy Slim. It is more straightforward in what it is doing, electronic music-wise, but that makes it feel more consistent, even though the tracks were recorded at different times. It doesn't feel quite as exciting this many years out, for me, but I still think it is really great and has a lot of really great tracks and is also still very much a view into that time when electronic music really started to take over, and we got so much in the following 5-6 years...

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Wed Mar 13 2024
5

9/10, love the style and bopped to every single beat on the album.

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

Michael Jackson Tina Turner Michael Jackson look what you've done I love this album. Literally every track is fantastic. 5/5

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

I hadn't heard much of Fatboy Slim's earlier stuff but this album is a cracker. Loving the retro album art too (although it wouldn't have been retro in the 90s obvs)

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

Just awesome. Not his most famous work but full of life and energy.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
5

It's not as banger filled as other fatboy slim but I think this is undeniably a fantastic album. I really enjoyed having it on at work.

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

When I saw this I wondered what new things another Fatboy Slim would bring to the table after having already had the hit-packed “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby” from a few years after this. I’m not sure if there was anything new or not, but the infectious melodies quickly dispersed by desire to judge and I just really enjoyed the music. Terrific!

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

Very fun, very groovy. Any need for this AND You've Come a Long Way on this list? I don't think so but I had a good time.

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

As much as I enjoy Fatboy Slim and was more than happy to listen to this album (which I have listened to a time or two before), I think that this may be another artist that is overrepresented on the list when there are so many other artist that are absent from it. For my money, just give me You've Come Along Way, Baby as the one that I must hear before I die.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
5

love this..takes me right back to my clubbing days

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Tue May 28 2024
5

Excellent album for studying or working. Chill, expressive vibe throughout the first three tracks.

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Mon Nov 09 2020
4

Most of us lack the privilege of enjoying this in a party context but what I can say as an armchair listener is that Fatboy Slim possesses a lot of youthful energy and creativity and knows what he wants out of a record but I'd enjoy this more if it were 20 minutes shorter. But again, this wasn't made for me to enjoy as an album, it was made to provide an hours worth of ass shaking for DJs. Also sounds like you could flip some dope samples off this.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Really interesting album. This album is convincing me that I should give more of their stuff more listens. I'm giving this one 4 stars.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

The weekend starts here Give po man a break 10th and crenshaw Punk to funk

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Good, but I preferred "You've Come A Long Way, Baby"

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Each song has interesting build ups

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Thu May 27 2021
4

never heard this one before. I'ts great even though its not full of hits as YCALWB.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Klassisk electronica-album dette. Jeg var kanskje hakket mer team chemical brothers enn fatboy slim i gamledager, men er jo noen flotte låter her med big beat souffle, everybody loves a filter, song for lindy og going out of my head.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

energetic, diverse, and very 90s. really enjoyed it. some of these will be in rotation on workout playlists

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Saved Prior: None Off Rip: Song For Lindy, Santa Cruz, Going Out Of My Head, Everybody Needs A 303, Give The Po' Man A Break, First Down Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: I had prior exposure to his bigger hits, but this was fun head-bopping dance music. The repetition hits perfectly and this would be super fun to dance to at a party. Not what I would call essential listening, but a fun listen nonetheless.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

So far I only knew Fatboy Slim by name. I'm not entirely sure what I expected his music to sound like, but it wasn't this. I sort of liked it though, I think. I'll need to listen to this one more than once to be able to deliver a final verdict, but for now a 4 will do.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Various electronic music in the one album. A pleasant combination of a lot of sounds in each track. But this isn't Fatboy Slim best album.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Magnífico, old class dj magic.

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Mon May 31 2021
4

I liked this a lot more than I thought I was going to.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Fat boy slim albums back to back…enjoyed this one better than you’ve come a long way baby

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Tue May 18 2021
4

real funky bass. 8/10 but not for me

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

Favoriete nummers: - Santa Cruz

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Wed Sep 20 2023
4

Good dance music. I didn’t really think it would be any different, since I liked the one I heard already, but whatever (I prefer that one, just so you know). Something interesting about this one is that I think it was mistakenly thought to be one of the albums here that wasn’t on the list when it really was, since I’m only the fifth or so review since 2021. Cool.

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Mon Sep 25 2023
4

4/5. A quite enjoyable and danceable electronic album, somehow better than his sophomore album. Although his second one definitely has some better induvial songs, this one flows so nicely and each has some passion and drive behind it. It also never slows down which is a plus. Although it is a little long, it's still really good.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

I love Fatboy Slim but you can tell this is an early work. The sampling isn't quite as catchy or iconic as his later work, and that joyous pop sound isn't quite perfected. It's still v enjoyable and as a huge fan of 90s big beat/electronic sounds in the UK, its really good background listening. Best suited as a soundtrack to relaxed, monotonous office work, to spice up your life and get your foot tapping, imagining yourself in a 90s underground rave. 04/10/23

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Tue Oct 10 2023
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: First down, Going out of my head

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Sun Oct 15 2023
4

Better Living is notably more abstract than Long Way, but it has every bit as much punch. An exhaustively impressive debut.

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Sun Oct 15 2023
4

Je trouve ca très entrainant et pour vrai je me suis surpris a aimé quand meme les album de Fat boy slim sur cette liste, car oui, i y en a plusieurs. celui-ci est osn premier et ca déménage quand meme. Surtout pour motivaiton de course. 4

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Mon Oct 16 2023
4

crazy sounds. felt like surfing the web in 1999. fingerless glove type beats. funky techno shizzlewizzle

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Sun Oct 22 2023
4

Fun listen. I’m almost surprised that it is dated. Still a fun listen.

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Mon Oct 23 2023
4

More important to listen to than a full album. You can clearly see the influence this had on electronic music. 3.5/5

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Sun Oct 29 2023
4

Repetetive, but in a good way. You'd think it would be more annoying but it's not.

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Mon Oct 30 2023
4

Solid dance house music. Definitely the type of thing you need to be in the mood for. 3.5 stars

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Mon Oct 30 2023
4

Solid big beat goodness. Hard to go wrong with Fatboy Slim.

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Mon Oct 30 2023
4

While I prefer the second album, this was a great debut and great listen.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
4

Good for running, with a good beat throughout, but it does not have any of Fatboy Slim's best songs.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
4

Big Beat at its best. Cracking

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Fri Nov 10 2023
4

I’ve never been much of an uppers guy, so this isn’t exactly the kind of music that I’d choose to dance to regularly. Still, it’s fun for a change occasionally. None of the songs have the same kind of impact as Fatboy Slim’s big hits, but they’re all still pleasant, well produced, and danceable, which is really what it’s all about

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Sat Nov 11 2023
4

8/10 not as good as YCALWB, but still pretty great

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Wed Nov 15 2023
4

I enjoyed this, but then again, I was helping promoting small scale raves and house parties in the mid 1990s in the San Francisco Bay area, so this came just after that, and I understand where this material is coming from and why. I typically don't listen to this sort of thing for pleasure, it's great to dance to, and that can leave some people cold. That said, it's creative, good loops, interesting breaks, and in a genre where a lot of stuff is really repetitive and formulaic, this isn't.

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Sun Dec 03 2023
4

Lyrics: One notable aspect of "Better Living Through Chemistry" is its limited use of traditional lyrics. Instead, the album relies heavily on vocal samples strategically placed throughout the tracks. This approach allows the music to transcend language barriers, appealing to a global audience. The snippets of speech and singing serve as additional instruments, contributing to the overall sonic experience. While this lack of traditional lyrical content may be considered a drawback for those seeking narrative-driven songs, it aligns with the album's emphasis on rhythm and atmosphere. Music: The musical landscape of "Better Living Through Chemistry" is a kaleidoscope of electronic genres, ranging from big beat and house to funk and hip-hop. Fatboy Slim showcases his prowess in creating infectious hooks and memorable melodies. The album's dynamic range is impressive, with tracks like "Rockafeller Skank" boasting energetic, dance-inducing beats, while others, such as "Take It In," exhibit a more introspective and laid-back vibe. The diversity of musical styles keeps the listening experience engaging and unpredictable. Production: Fatboy Slim's production skills shine on "Better Living Through Chemistry." The meticulous layering of samples, beats, and synths creates a rich, textured sound that feels both futuristic and timeless. The album is a masterclass in sample-based production, with Cook skillfully weaving together disparate elements into a cohesive sonic tapestry. The seamless transitions between tracks contribute to the album's immersive quality, making it suitable for both attentive listening and as a backdrop for energetic dance floors. Themes: While "Better Living Through Chemistry" doesn't adhere to a specific lyrical narrative, its title hints at a thematic exploration of societal attitudes toward substance use and technological advancement. The album captures the zeitgeist of the late 20th century, where the promise of a better life through chemistry reflected both the optimism and concerns surrounding scientific and cultural progress. The eclectic nature of the music mirrors the complexity of the era, offering a sonic snapshot of a time characterized by rapid change and experimentation. Influence: "Better Living Through Chemistry" had a profound impact on the electronic music landscape, solidifying Fatboy Slim's status as a pioneer in the genre. The album's fusion of eclectic samples and innovative production techniques inspired countless artists to push the boundaries of electronic music. Its influence is evident in subsequent works across various genres, from the mainstream success of big beat to the underground experimentation of electronic artists. Fatboy Slim's approach to production continues to resonate with musicians exploring the intersection of electronic and traditional instrumentation. Pros: Innovative Production: Fatboy Slim's expert use of samples and production techniques showcases a forward-thinking approach. Diverse Musical Styles: The album's versatility appeals to a broad audience, making it suitable for various moods and settings. Timeless Appeal: The album's fusion of electronic and sample-based elements has ensured its enduring popularity, standing the test of time. Cons: Limited Lyrical Content: For listeners who prefer lyrically-driven music, the reliance on vocal samples may be perceived as a drawback. Uneven Pacing: While the album's diversity is a strength, some may find the pacing uneven, with energetic tracks followed by more subdued ones. In conclusion, "Better Living Through Chemistry" remains a landmark album in electronic music, showcasing Fatboy Slim's innovative production and contributing to the evolution of the genre. Its enduring influence is a testament to its timeless appeal, making it a must-listen for fans of electronic music and a crucial chapter in the genre's history.

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Sun Dec 17 2023
4

Surprised I really enjoyed it. Sounded a lot more raw than later FBS.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
4

So many good memories of college house parties, Timo Maas at the Showbox, mix CDs of Heller & Farley, Paul Oakenfold in my discman headphones, and being young & feeling cooler than I was.

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Fri Dec 22 2023
4

Banger edm album Some skippable songs but some great classics too

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

Always been a fan of Fatboy Slim, but I don't know this album! Where have I been? Ok, it's not nearly as good as the others I know, but it is still good. There is a time and place where this album really fits. Standouts: Going Out of My Head, Song For Lindy, Everybody Needs a 303, Punk to Funk. 3.5

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Fri Jan 05 2024
4

This one's fun. I like it a lot more than I remember; maybe my tolerance for repetition has increased. My gut says this will be rated pretty low on this site, which is unfortunate.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

Walk down memory lane, great album! It may sound a bit repetitive now, but I remember at the time it sounded really new and exciting.

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Sat Jan 20 2024
4

It's engaging and energetic with an upbeat rhythm. You can almost anticipate what's coming next, and there's enough of a mix of elements to keep it from getting bogged down.

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

I really enjoyed the sound that this album created. This shit had me boogieing in the kitchen

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

Rating: 8/10 Great album overall. Really enjoyed the sampling and drum beat/brakes implemented throughout. The guitar sampling was the highlight of the album, a lot of samples used by iconic artists in creative ways. The way Fatboy Slim incorporates synths to complement the guitar and drums was also done very well. This album is stellar when there are no vocal samples in the song, I think the vocal samples are not used creatively and instead oftentimes become a nuisance; the best songs were ones that are completely instrumental. Favorite songs: Song For Lindy, Santa Cruz, Going Out Of My Head, The Weekend Starts Here, First Down, The Sound Of Milwaukee, Michael Jackson, Next To Nothing. Worst songs: Everybody Needs a 303, Give The Po' Man A Break.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

Pretty chill, thought it would be more intense/ poppy. Good background shit.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
4

I love you but i know that you love Kraftwerk dont you.

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Mon Feb 05 2024
4

Great album for a Friday afternoon

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Mon Feb 05 2024
4

Really good, had never even heard of this album before and really preferred it to his later work.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
4

Super creative tracks with a lot of interesting breaks, samples, and direct and clear inspiration for modern breakbeat and DnB

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Fri Feb 09 2024
4

Groovy 90's electronica! This was a fun listen for me, a lot of these sounds are interesting when you consider where electronica is today, and the kind of tech that was being used back in the 90's to produce these.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
4

Great 2bf. The weekend starts here was a treat

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Thu Feb 15 2024
4

I really liked it some songs reminded me of grunge which is cool but I did think I’ve heard more hardcore electronic music and though fat boy slim is not about being hardcore I didn’t feel like I loved it more than some other albums

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Fri Feb 16 2024
4

Fun album. I always dig Fatboy

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Mon Feb 19 2024
4

Very fun to coast through, enjoyed it mostly while doing things instead of purely sitting and listening

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Wed Feb 21 2024
4

This album sounded so different to the dance music being spun up at the time.

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Fri Feb 23 2024
4

Veel loops, veel herhaling. Als je dat storend vind is dat kut, als je je gewoon lekker mee kunt laten voeren heeft het iets fijns. Op maandag zou ik hier niet zo kapot van zijn, maar op donderdag vind ik het wel een aangenaam album. Bevat eigenlijk geen enkel nummer wat ik los in een playlist zou zetten, maar als album werkt het voor mij. Makkelijker te luisteren dan die Dj Schaduw van laatst, daardoor ook wel net iets minder indrukwekkend. Dikjongen Tenger heeft al eens een 5 gehad. Dit album bevat niet die iconische tracks. Geen zomerlange FIFA herinneringen. Ik denk dat een 4 een mooi cijfer is hiervoor. Wel wat aan de lange kant.

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