Album Reviews: Bicycles & Tricycles by The OrbArtists that rewrite the rules of their chosen genre are faced with the dilemma of forever having to live down their early successes. Such seems to be the fate of The Orb's Alex Paterson. Pretty much everything he's done since the early '90s has felt like a pale reflection of early breakthrough tracks like "Blue Room" and "Little Fluffy Clouds." Those songs and other Orb epics more or less invented what has become the standard soundtrack for rave chillout rooms: spacey, bleepy soundscapes inhabited by disembodied vocal samples, thick, dubby basslines and mellow beats. Even if Paterson still executes this formula better than most of his imitators, you can't help wishing he'd rediscover the originality of brilliant early projects like The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld.
To his credit, Paterson does try to add a few new items to the Orb menu on his latest, Bicycles & Tricycles. There's a rap on "Aftermath," a full-blown house beat on "Gee Strings," his deepest excursions yet into dub on "Tower Twenty-Three" and "Orb Is (Shopping Version)." The problem is, these aren't the album's best tracks. Paterson and his collaborators are still at their most effective when they're creating a playfully trippy afterhours soundtrack enlivened by off-kilter beats and weird spoken-word samples. Tracks like "Abstractions" and "The Land of Green Ginger" do this very well. Do they hold a candle to "Little Fluffy Clouds"? Hardly -- but then again, has anyone else topped The Orb's early output yet, either? - Andy Hermann
Watch Chris Martin, Beck Cover Beach Boys, Springsteen, Pink Floyd
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:13:09
Kanye West Threatens He Won't Attend GRAMMYs if Frank Ocean Isn't Nominated
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:03:57
Drake Debuts Four New Songs Off "More Life"
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:49:15
Justin Bieber Can't Get His Fans To Stop Screaming
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:40:27
Watch President Obama Dance To "Hotline Bling"
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:29:08
Itasca Shares Her Musical Memories
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:17:27
'Inside Llewyn Davis' All-Stars Honor Greenwich Village Heyday
Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:04:00
Justin Moore's Outrageous Hiney Song
Mon, 30 Sep 2013 09:56:00
Farewell 'Breaking Bad': Earth Below Us, Drifting Falling
Mon, 30 Sep 2013 09:45:00
Paul McCartney Responds to Lost Fan Letter, 50 Years Later
Mon, 30 Sep 2013 09:30:00