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Chicane - Somersault

Chicane, Somersault

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

CHICANE describe their latest album Somersault as an “evolution of their more dance-based sound”. Well, listening to the opening tracks it’s hard to know how.

Mastermind Nick Bracegirdle is a name that’s usually synonymous with the Ibiza dance sound and on tracks like Stoned In Love and Always, with its generic disco beats and Ibiza sensibilities, there’s very little to really make them stand out from the superclub crowd.

But Nick is insistent that Somersault marks a progression and comments in the album’s PR: “It’s an interesting thing how people interpret your music; I’m still amazed how many people believe I’m a DJ! I have always been a songwriter from the start, so this album is no departure. The new album allows me to push the Chicane sound further and let my songs take on a bigger and broader dimension.”

The inclusion of a cinematic, almost operatic solo vocal on Always is probably an example of this, but when accompanied by the usual dancefloor influences it doesn’t feel like Nick is taking that big a risk. While even the presence of Tom Jones’ vocals on Stoned In Love fails to enliven an otherwise generic sound.

On Come Tomorrow, however, he drops a suitably gutsy backbeat (reminiscent of Enigma in their prime) with a vocal that aims to recall the swagger of Kasabian and Oasis in their pomp. But even then it feels like a half-hearted attempt to stretch his trademark Ibiza sound to the new breed of Ibiza Rocks listeners.

Elsewhere, the early guitar loops of Nothing recall Regret-era New Order and Arizona aims for the thoughtful, sci-fi ambience of Vangelis – but each time Nick ventures into pastures new, there’s always another thumping dance beat or soulless Ibiza throwback waiting in the wings.

Had he really stuck his neck out and gone for something different, Somersault may have been a much better album. As things stand, it’s stuck in a middle ground that fails to transcend any genres but which could just as easily alienate his fans.

Download picks: Come Tomorrow, Nothing, Arizona

Track listing:

  1. Stoned In Love
  2. Always
  3. Come Tomorrow
  4. Nothing
  5. Arizona
  6. Spirit
  7. Turning Corners
  8. Far Away From You
  9. Way I’m Feeling
  10. Time Of Your Life

  1. So does Nick actually sing “come tomorrow”?

    Matt    Aug 3    #
  2. I'm a Chicane faithful. But sadly this is a really really bad album. Nothing new here just a mix up of everything Nick has in his hard drive into a big pop mess. His first album is a masterpiece but this one feels very much like it has gone off the rails completely. Oh well Nick, chin up, stick to what you're good at.

    paul    Aug 11    #