What the Chemical Brothers picked up from the breakbeat culture that shaped them is the idea of cutting straight to the exciting part; what they've learned from their devastating DJ sets is how to sustain flow by varying it. SURRENDER is maniacally intense, with each track beelining for the moment when it seems like it's about to explode, then cycling back around again -- but it's also compulsively listenable, with each chattering groove made more thrilling by the reserve or hyperactivity of the ones next to it. Being the rock stars of the electronica set has taught the Brothers that rock 'n' roll has some useful assets, like the galvanizing roar of an electric guitar, which turns up all over SURRENDER, or the way a distinctive singer (Oasis
's Noel Gallagher and New Order
's Bernard Sumner both appear here) can direct and intensify a groove. This is unapologetic body music, but the closer you listen, the hotter it gets.