Chemical Brothers Singles 93-03 (Virgin) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Even at their most streamlined and dance-floor-friendly, the Chemical Brothers were always DJs who wished they were in a band and made no excuses for that. Watching the duo's progression from beats toward songs is the most fascinating thing about this best-of. The raw jackhammer appeal of Chemical Beats and Leave Home is matched by carefully textured ditties like Mercury Rev-inspired Private Psychedelic Reel, Setting Sun and the still hair-raising Let Forever Be. If anything, the two new tracks here find the Chemicals creeping closer to straightforward pop. Get Yourself High is a sing-song electro stomper featuring K-OS, while The Golden Path is a full-blown collaboration with the Flaming Lips that's just as peculiar as it sounds. It's one thing for a pair of DJs to stay relevant for a decade. It's another to keep pushing forward. The Chemicals have managed both.