Second Toughest in the Infants is the fourth studio album by British electronic music group Underworld, and the second in their "MK2" line-up with Darren Emerson. With this album, Underworld expanded on their progressive palette, while developing their signature sound of abrasive beats and anthemic melodies. The name of the album derives from a comment made by member Rick Smith's six-year-old nephew, Simon Prosser, when asked on his progress at infant school (the level of schooling attended by four- to seven-year-old children in the United Kingdom). Second Toughest featured the single "Pearl's Girl". The re-issue featured the band's best known single, "Born Slippy .NUXX". The album was remastered and re-released on 20 November 2015 with deluxe and super-deluxe expanded editions.Wikipedia
English electronic albums from the 90s be much shorter challenge
Second Toughest In The Infants continues the successful string of three masterpieces in a row that started with Dubnobasswithmyheadman and continued with 1999s Beaucoup Fish. This is brighter than Dubnobass but also edgier and harder in sound. The album cover art sets the general mood of the album. The shades of blue display its moody feel and its ambience. The splattering of different shades of blue on the cover and in the booklet displays the albums chaotic sounds. Extremely challenging & intelligent music. This is not for the narrow-minded.
Less dance floor fillers than Dubnobass but a much more diverse album with a great flow. From big breakbeats to slide guitar, drum ‘n’ bass and even a gentle psychedelic vibe, there is so much to admire and appreciate on this ambitious album. A long but effortless listen.
This album has moments of straight techno which melt into new wave and atmospheric rock. At times, the album is danceable and at others, ponderous. The way that the music constructs and deconstructs is interesting and adds to the simmering quality of some of the tracks. Overall, really enjoyable if a touch too long
Top tier. The dance act all other dance acts secretly wished they were. This album doesn't even have their two vest songs on either.
Love underworld. I am a little bit surprised that we didn't have dubnobasswithmyheadman or Beaucoup Fish, but hey. I've listened to SGitI no more than a handful of times in the past decade, so let's put it on. As I sit here, I am becoming increasingly impressed. As the music builds, I find myself wondering about the Americans who don't have even the first clue about what "second toughest in the infants" might mean. It isn't all killer, no filler though. There's quite a bit of dull on here, and that does stand in stark contrast to dubnobasswithmyheadman. But it's good enough to get 5 stars, even if it is too long.
Finally, my LAN is set up, day-glo Ethernet cables connecting the humming servers everyone had brought over, and everyone has found the patch to Starcraft allowing for local play. Thump thump thump thump diggy thump thump thump thump diggy goes Second Toughest in the Infants, as we enter a Mountain Dew-powered trance state...
La semaine dernière, je vous partageais les découvertes que j'avais faites au sujet de Jim Morrison. Je vous apprenais entre autre qu'il n'était pas décédé à vingt-sept ans comme cela a été relayé par la presse. Après une nouvelle sortie à la bibliothèque, j'ai fait de nouvelles découvertes dont une qui devrait particulièrement vous intéresser. Nous sommes le 26 avril 1986 dans une petite ville paisible appartenant alors à l'URSS. Comme tous les matins, les employés de la centrale nucléaire située dans ses faubourgs se rendent au travail. À leur arrivée, aucun problème n'est à signaler. Le jour est à la bonne humeur, les collègues échangent des sourires, l'un d'eux a même appris la veille au soir que sa femme était enceinte et se réjouit d'annoncer la bonne nouvelle à tout le monde. Seul petit hic à l'horizon, tous sont d'accord pour dire qu'il fait un peu frisquet dans le salle de contrôle. Wolodymyr, le technicien en charge de la maintenance, s'en va regarder l'état du chauffage et découvre que le thermomètre affiche seize degrés au lieu des dix-huit habituels. Le problème est vraisemblablement lié à un surplus de poussière dans l'un des tuyaux. L'opération nécessite donc un simple nettoyage à effectuer au niveau du radiateur central. N'ayant pas les outils adéquats à disposition, Wolodymyr appelle un dépanneur. Quelques minutes plus tard, un homme vêtu d'une salopette en jean et d'un crayon derrière l'oreille gauche s'annonce à l'entrée de la centrale (vous aurez reconnu Jim Morrison). Il vient réparer le chauffage. Le service de sécurité le laisse entrer. Une dame est ensuite chargée de le guider vers la salle de contrôle où il rejoint Wolodymyr qui lui indique l'emplacement du système de chauffage Sa boîte à outil ouverte, Jim Morrison s'accroupit, attrape un câble, le sectionne avec ses dents, puis un deuxième, en intervertit trois autres et souffle ensuite très fort dans une prise électrique. Il ramasse ses affaires et s'empresse de sortir de la centrale. Une dizaine de minutes plus tard, le réacteur explose, entraînant ce jour là à Tchernobyl la plus grosse catastrophe nucléaire jamais recensée.
Suite aux récentes decouvertes fracassantes de mon camarade d’écoute robpellemèle sur l’illustre Jim Morrisson, je me suis moi aussi enfermé à la bibliothèque afin d’effectuer quelques recherches. Ce que j’y ai découvert va complétement dans le sens des trouvailles de rob, mais laissez moi vous raconter. Nous sommes le 22 novembre 1963, quand Jim Morrison, équipé d’une salopette et d’un crayon derrière l’oreille (vous l’aurez donc reconnu, étant donné que je viens de donner son nom), sort de son domicile et s’installe au volant de son véhicule. Son itinéraire, il l’a bien étudié toute cette semaine, il se rend donc à l’hôtel où siège son client du jour. Arrivé devant l’hôtel, le client est bien présent accompagné de sa femme, et s’empresse de monter dans le véhicule après un « bonjour » poli et rempli de charisme. Jim commence alors à rouler doucement dans les rues de Dallas, afin de mener son client à bon port, sans prendre le moindre risque sur la route. En effet, Jim vient tout juste d’endorser ce nouveau métier de chauffeur privé, et après de nombreux échecs professionnels, il tient à mettre cette fois toutes les chances de son côté. Soudain, deux coups de feu retentissent, et des hurlements se font entendre. Jim se retourne, et retrouve son passager étendu sur la banquette, deux trous de balle sur la poitrine, sa femme paniquée. Ce passager, vous l’aurez reconnu – et ce malgré qu’il ne porte pas de crayon derrière son oreille – c’était John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35ème président des États-Unis d’Amérique. Jim tentera bien de faire un massage cardiaque au pauvre John, en pressant fermement son poing sur les blessures béantes de ce dernier, mais cela n’eut pour effet que d’accélérer l’hémorragie, et d’ainsi précipiter un peu plus Kennedy vers son tombeau. Jim Morrison avait donc commencé à opérer bien avant de simuler sa mort en 1971 comme mon camadare robpellemèle l’a récemment découvert, mais que d’autre nous cache Jim Morrisson ?
Starts slow and picks up at the backend, but also suffers from bloat heavily.
"Second Toughest in the Infants," is the fourth studio album by English electronic music group Underworld. This album released in 1996 and falls under the following genres: techno, progressive house, progressive trance. I am all about trance and techno, fueled thanks to late 90s/early-to-mid 2000s video game soundtracks, so I'm really excited to be jumping into this genre. This album opens with its longest track, "Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love" at 16 minutes and 36 seconds. It is comprised of three tracks, per Wikipedia, "...which features all three parts intersecting each other at various points during the piece; hence, the use of colons instead of slashes..." This song opens with techno beats that make you want to nod your head/reflect/go clubbing. Hauntingly harmonized vocals pop in at 1 minute and sound distinctly robotic/nonhuman. This long track has moments where you can feel a transition of power as the songs morph into one another, with really fun beats, piano, vocals, and repetition carrying it along. The next track, "Banstyle/Sappy's Curry," clocks in at 15 minutes and 22 seconds. It reminds me of a snythy, bloopy beat I would hear in Sonic the Hedgehog or Tekken Tag Tournament. Vocals come in at around 1 minute 45 seconds that are much less robotic and more human than the previous track's offerings. The ambient tone with funky guitar work at around 6 minutes was really enjoyable and took me away into a slight state of flux. I sense this album will become a new record to work to for me. By the end of this track I could not believe how wonderfully lost I became. "Banstyle/Sappy's Curry," is the perfect background song. The third track on this album, "Confusion the Waitress," opens with a steady drum beat, followed by synth notes and an added trance beat to the drumming. There's a lot of beepy noises and spooky "she said" vocals. This poor, confused waitress. Track number 4, "Rowla," offers more electric chaos. Bass/guitar tunes over a steady beat remind me somewhat of a heartbeat, giving this track a life of its own. There is some fantastic work happening in this song that sounds like lasers flying off into the night sky. I love it. Next up on this album is "Pearl's Girl" at 9 minutes and 36 seconds. This is a steady track with really cool electric noise over a steady beat. This track was also featured in Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3, which makes entirely too much sense. Track 6, "Air Towel," features more steady synth notes and percussion. There is some dancing of sound going on between my left and right headphone, giving this track a very cerebral sound. Just another great song to concentrate to. Track 7, "Blueski," is the shortest song on the album, at 2 minutes and 55 seconds. It's a pretty consistent track of repeated guitar pluckery. It doesn't have a beat, but it's still easy to move your head to. Short and sweet. "Stagger" is the final track on this amazing collection of ambient wonder. This track features more vocals and lyrics than any of the other songs on this album, with a snippet reading: "The naming of killer boy Everything's going west, nothing's going east straighten There's no need to be so uptight straighten Make up for all their messes I could listen to you all day What a laugh, cut me I bleed like you, ha ha" The meaning is vague, though it seems to invoke a feeing of confusion or inebriation. A fitting end to this album. I was so very pleased with this album. I felt my mind flow away in a river of thought during my time with this collection of music. I can't wait to listen to it again, and again, and again! Favorite track: Banstyle/Sappy's Curry Honorable mention: Rowla
I've been primed for Underworld by a few soundtracks, and Second Toughest delivered. I'm not quite sure what to think of it: It's not quite perfect, but every track makes me itch to get inside it, tricky as that is. I had the same experience with Autechre, who I now hold in high regard but know little about. Does that say more about me than the band and the record? Likely, but the record is a great techno project, eight sonic crystals that could easily keep going and going and going (but would that ever overkill the runtime).
I Didn't Finish Listening For Personal Reasons.
One of the best electronic music albums of all time.
"Cryptic lyrics" doesn't really seem to convey how odd the lyrics in this album are. They feel like stream-of-consciousness lyrics mixed and matched in with odd choices which serve to add to the instrumentality. Overall I've found myself enjoying the rhythms in the songs, which have some rather nice beats to them. Specifically "Pearl's Girl" is great in this aspect. "Sappy's Curry", the second half of the second track in the album, in particular, hits a very neat note with the instrumentals and a wonderful backing rhythm that I found myself enjoying, and I wish it was a song by itself. Stagger also has a very good sound together with the voice work, and it was a surprisingly enjoyable listen. Overall a very odd album from a genre I do not listen to much, but overall enjoyable despite IMO a weak and extremely confusing opening track.
This sounds like the background music to a YouTube video. Nothing of redeeming value here. And I don’t just hate techno cause I love kraftwerk
Does anyone like techno?
Classic beats taking you back to better times.
One of the best so far. Played it three times.
Great beats. Perfect music to crank out work. High energy, nothing out of place.
Great vocals and amazing production. Good variation in styles as well
Very cool electronic album. Very 90s. Now a fan of Underworld.
One of my favourite EDM albums of all time. Untouchable from a production perspective, plus, Pearlsgirl is my favourite Underworld album too so 5 stars is a no brainer.
What a great album (if you like trance/progressive techno, which I do)! This is something I would listen to when I am heads-down coding and love every second (of the music, not the coding). I'm giving it 5 stars since I still imagine I do heads-down coding. And I legitimately like the music. :)
Pleasantly surprised! I’ve had a lot of issues with 90s electronic music on this list, but this album was right up my alley. Felt like techno and house sounds approached with a prog mindset.
Bad. Ass. Shame this is the only Underworld on the list! Fave track - "Pearl's Girl" is storming! "Juanita: Kiteless: To Dream of Love" is also awesome.
Up against a deadline at work this morning and this is precisely what I needed to keep me motivated. All killer no filler.
I didn’t recall ever hearing of Underworld before, although I’m told I must have heard one of their other songs on the Trainspotting soundtrack. Then I realized I knew their song Cowgirls from the Hackers soundtrack. After listening to this album as well, I’m pretty sure that I probably danced to their music on many occasions. “Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love” is an incredible opening to this album. Instantly grabbed me and I knew this would be a real ride! By 15 minutes in I had decided this is some of the best electronic music I’ve heard on this project, or maybe ever. Nearly an hour more of music was on this album. Great variety! Sometimes up dancing, other times just chilling in ambient cool. This journey had many exciting twists and turns. I was constantly engaged - pulled along on an electronic adventure. Absolutely fantastic!
Driving in the car, this album kind of faded into the background, as tends to happen to music of this genre. However, listening with earphones a second time revealed much more, and I really appreciated it. Very cool, sophisticated techno with interesting touches. I really liked it.
Genre defining, ground breaking etc
Havent listened enough yet
This was fun. Their beats would do well at coachella
I feel like this is fucking sick but it's like a lot of different elements that were put together for born slippy. I'm really liking it though for a concentration album
Not bad progressive band
I appreciate they don't try to sing much on top of it. Last several minutes of banstyle/sappys currys are real good. Rowla--finally really danceable music Pearl's girl is undeniable. That bass drum drum.
I can hear the foundations of 2000s EMD and electronica in here. Liked
How have I missed this one? Never heard of it. And I love drum and bass. It’s very good.
Awesome electronic album, not sure the exact genre, I guess Euro house? or rave? Either way it's a fantastic album with great repeating rhythms and very slow progressions. Very long tracks with a lot going on overall, but it's entrancing. True Feeling: 4.1/5
Super great for heads down music - aspects remind me of the matrix soundtrack
I liked it, but it was too long for what it offered. That said, my favorite songs were the first two, 16 and 15 minutes each. I think I was feeling the music for the first half hour but by 70 minutes got tired of the minimal variety.
Good techno sound. I like it! I had heard some of their other songs before.
Iskreno dosta iznenađen ovim techno-nocturalno ambijentalnim izdanjem. Ma prva pjesma me je već uvela u album kako treba, a ostatak albuma je zadovoljavajuć. Atmosfera, beatovi, instrumentali su kvalitetni i mogu reći da ima jako dobrih prijelaza. Iznenađen sam iskreno.
Liked this way better than Fat Boy Slim, a contemporary. Instrumentation was interesting enough, and the occasional lyric helps move it along.
Enjoyed it but maybe a little long
I really enjoyed this, haunted, the perfect blend of electronic and acoustic elements
Oh. Now this is cool. It didn’t keep same energy throughout but i liked it.
We get a lot of electronic music here on 1001albums, in all its forms. I actually like a lot of electronic music. My brother does it for a living, so I've heard a fair bit of it. But after a while, another techno or house album comes up and I can't help but let out a sigh. This one is really good, though. A full hour+ of really listenable and diverse music, from progressive house to drum and bass to a splash of ambient, none of it tiring nor ear splitting. The album starts out strong and never lets up. Beats are perfect, not hard on the ear for the most part. The compositions are smoothly sequenced and layered, with subtle little progressions that make each track more complex and interesting as it develops. Even the long tracks (which are series of songs that lead into each other), are a breeze to listen to. Lyrics are poetic, but on the abstract side. Vocal distortions, noise and guitar loops are used economically, to nice effect. It’s not all danceable, but there is a solid mix of the clubby and the more contemplative, which makes for a better overall listen. Bravo. Fave Songs: Banstyle/Sappy's Curry, Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love, Air Towel, Blueski, Rowla
It's hard for me to review techno / trance albums, but I really enjoyed this one. Never got bored with the long tracks. There's a lot going on in the first track, maintaining a mid-level energy. Second track is mellower, reminding of PS2-era loading screens, good for studying to. I like the echoey vocals, and how wild it gets in those last few minutes. Next track has a really sweet beat and gothic vocals. "Rowla" is a bit abrasive but still pretty cool. My favorite track is "Pearl's Girl." Crazy crazy crazy crazy crazy........... I love it so much. In "Air Towel", I really enjoyed the vocals, but I found the repetitive beat overstaying its welcome. "Blueski" is a bit of an oddball, but still pleasant. Thankfully this one did not go for more than 3 minutes. The final track, "Stagger", is my second favorite, which is more like synthpop, with orchestral vocals, mysterious lyrics, and heavy synths.
I saw someone else doing this, and decided to keep a score like this as well: Quality of Album: 9/10 1001 album list worthy: 10/10 Personal enjoyment: 8/10 Juanita ; Kiteless ; to Dream of Love is the intense and powerful opener you'd want on any dance album. Followed up by ambient breakbeat of Banstyle / Sappys Curry as second song it almost doesn't get better in the genre. And that's the first half hour already filled. On the bonus CD is the song Cherry Pie and that might be the best Underworld has ever released.
Based on my music genre preferences, I would have rated this 3/5, but that would have brought the rating down simply because I don't as often listen to this type of music. For what it's trying to be – techno, progressive house, etc. – I actually liked it quite a bit. Super easy to listen to while working, for example. Not too hectic.
Pretty good. Some forgettable lyrics most of a tracks are solid.
pretty good, not really my genre but I can still appreciate the work that went into it, 7/10
the first track still has me 4 minutes in. though holy shit your first two tracks are combined almost a half hour!? Confusion The Waitress is a solid dub/jungle sound. Its a pretty inocuous album but I have been able to get some solid work done this morning.
Blueski- love the guitar melody, great change of pace Stagger- great sound vocal combo This was honestly better than I expected
Have you heard Underworld? This sounds exactly like Underworld sound.
Sounded like it belonged in The Matrix or a similar late 90's - early 2000's sci-fi type film. An overall fun listen.
fun. loved air towel
Gotta listen to the re-issue for that sweet sweet Born Slippy. NUXX. In my top five for songs to dance to: smoothly with the iconic opening chords, then all out crazy when the kick drum comes in. Singing along to the rambling stream of consciousness lyrics. Rez is also an all time great electronic track. As for the songs on the original disc, I'm not familiar with them, but the outro to Sappy's Curry had me up and dancing. Otherwise good background music, songs for soundtracks.
This album is really quite varied compared to most other electronic music of the time. The fact that they have a dedicated singer kind of sets them apart too. Very versatile sound. Electronic anthems. Favorite track is "Pearl's Girl," probably because it sounds the most like "Born Slippy."
First two tracks go insane. I like this a lot more than dubno. Less focus on the vocals make this great.
It's really good and I think it's actually the best from all the electronic albums I've heard while doing this challenge (including Chemical Borthers, Fatboy Slim, Milo) - it's the most complex one while at the same time not annoying and very much enjoyable. My only issue with this is that it's a bit too long, especially for such a repetitive kind of music. I'll be definitely going back to this one. 4/5
I ended up enjoying this quite a bit. First song I was a little iffy on but the other more laidback tracks are really good and pretty impressive for 1996. Lots of danceable tunes on here which I had a good time with. 7/10
I like cool 90s Techno and I don't care who knows. Great music to work to, and probably dance to? Not great if you want to do a singalong.
Started off like some more Need for Speed movie music but displayed some enjoyable electronic throughout the rest
Much closer to what was actually going on in the 90's than any of the indie rock rubbish which has been on this list. Still doesn't make a great album but consistently decent tunes. 3.6
Lovely - a nice throwback to a CD that kept me company for quite a while
Is that EDM? I’m not cool enough to know but I think it was. It was fun. Good work music. Peppy but background.
A completely new band / album for me, and I liked it a lot! The heavier drumstep parts were a bit too much for me on a Tuesday morning, but the synthier elements were lush!
This album makes me want to do pills
6/10 FT: Pearl's Girl
A few interesting moments but too techno for me.
Electronic music, eh? Wants to be Moby? it was good, didn't get me excited though.
Some really nice instrumental vibes here. Will return.
Honestly all the EDM sounds the same to me. Maybe this is again particularly foundational but to me it probably could have been most anything in the genre.
It's fine, but I don't remember much about it, here on Monday.
I like house music but it's not my favorite to listen to in album form. I like Underworld but I've never listened to a whole album by them. This album was good background music, though I would say it's my favorite :)
"Homeless trees gathering Outside your window bootleg babies call to you and lie among the mosquitoes That summers fever coming Cats are gathering outside your window" (Juanita/Kiteless/To dream of love) Fui a mirar cuánto del disco llevaba pensando que sería más o menos la mitad y estaba por la mitad pero de la segunda canción.
interesting, but didnt feel a lot of cohesion in the album and fell off near the beginning
The first song inspired me to work out, but the thrill faded fast.
Some nice techno house, not much else to say
if this didn't happen for me in 1996 it isn't going to magic itself now
A grand ride! It really feels like proto-techno (and might be if I looked into the history). It seems purposefully inaccessible, but if given enough listen it sticks. Perfect for studying or gaming. Doesn't move me emotionally at all though.
Decent electronica album, not something i would mind listen to again, nor would it be something i actively searched for.