Paul and Phil Hartnoll, better known as English electronic outfit Orbital, have simultaneously released a new album and rarities/B-sides compilation in one double-disc package. "The Altogether," the duo's sixth full-length, charts many familiar territories without sounding rehashed; call it industrial lite. "Funky Break," featuring the angelic vocals of Naomi Bedford, is reminiscent of the duo's earlier classic "Halcyon + On + On." "Last Thing" has an early techno feel to it, whereas "Waving Not Drowning" starts off sounding like a '70s rock song. The brothers also pay homage to the rock band Tool with their tweaked-out version of "Sober," cleverly titled "Tootled."
Longtime fans will appreciate the inclusion of the "Doctor Who" theme, a staple of the band's live shows. David Gray's contribution on "Illuminate" proves that Orbital can provide a dynamic music bed for such a vocalist. Too bad that Orbital sometimes sounds a little like early electronic music. This is 2001, after all. However, in an era where a DJ is now considered the artist, it is refreshing to have the artist add a human element to an oversaturated genre.
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