Fatboy Slim: Palookaville

Like any good researcher I went out and read some of the early reviews for Palookaville, the latest full length from Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook. Cook has already ascended into the post-raver generation mainstream stratosphere occupied by the likes of The Prodigy, The Orb, The Chemical Brothers, Moby and few others. For that reason alone, your average underpaid music journalist is going to take a rabid delight in tearing apart the latest Fatboy Slim product, and why wouldn't they: the album is a preview of TV commercial and mainstream movie soundtracks for the next two years to come, if we learned anything from hearing Cook's heavily licensed opus "The Rockefeller Skank" more times than the national anthem as the 90s drew to a close. Most every review I've found of Palookaville hovered in the "diabolical shite" category, and yet, from our server stats, I can tell that the stream for one of the initial singles, "Wonderful Night," has been a runaway favorite, breaking records on betterPropaganda.

Cook has flat out got the Fatboy Slim schtick down, and you love it or hate it. Myself, I'm a fan of his madcap found-sound storytelling, goofball humor, patented big beats and stuttering sampler gimmicks. This time out, he's steered himself into a soulful beach hippie veneer, reflected in both the album cover artwork (naked hippies with surfboard!) and audio trappings. "Don't Let the Man Get You Down" leads off the album, and it will be hard to forget the delightfully insipid sampled lyric "And the signs said/Longhaired freaky people/Need not apply" droning on over a laid back big beat groove suitable for Eric Burdon's War. Similarly, the album closes with an unlikely cover of Steve Miller's 70s hippie anthem "The Joker" with none other than Bootsy Collins of Parliament/Funkadelic fame on the vocal chores.

Predictably, his track "Slash Dot Dash" will be heard a bazillion times around the world with it's hiccupping "Dot com/Dot com" vocal cut to shreds. Myself, I find this track hysterically endearing- heck, I'm editor of a dot com music site- but I can easily imagine it bugging the living daylights out of people who aren't down with it.

Let's just agree that if you're into Fatboy Slim, this is a crucial album you'll want to add to your collection as we find Cook in finest form, improving with age. If Fatboy Slim sets your teeth on edge, well, do your best to stay away from the TV, the radio and the movies. Peace.

Terbo Ted

Related Downloads