Norman Cook, a.k.a. Fatboy Slim, is no dummy. "The Rockafeller Skank" and "Praise You," brilliant fusions of dance-floor whomp and pop smarts, were monster hits because of their vocal hooks. Every track on "Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars" sports vocal samples or live vocalists. The hybrid will likely be Cook's biggest album yet, though it doesn't always balance its weight well.
The gospel-preacher sound bites of "Drop the Hate" will have the faithful handspringing down the aisles, while "Sunset (Bird of Prey)" boasts Jim Morrison crooning "bird of prey/flying high" over the tranciest Cook track to date. Still, making room for all these voices somewhat hobbles Cook's slice-and-dice dash -- the cartoon big beat of his "Better Living Through Chemistry" days sounds positively complex in comparison.
Of the two Macy Gray tracks, "Demons" is a a funky hand-waver. But the horny "Lovelife" loses pressure when Gray coyly works her way through the alphabet only to chant the silly line, "I wanna 'F' you." It's a case of can't-say-it-can't-do-it. That's what happens when you go halfway.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.