Why is The Chemical Brothers’ Surrender on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Accessible electronic music with great hooks and the dance vibe to match.
Some stats & info about The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Electronic Music, House Music, Dance Music, Acid House, Progressive House
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3 of 5 stars
- When was Surrender released? 1999
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #865 out of 1,000
The Chemical Brothers’ Surrender on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does The Chemical Brothers’ Surrender mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
During the mid- to late 1990s, I became much more aware of electronic music, which had much to do that it was a form of music that took on a much more significant place in popular culture. Which is a long way to say that it’s not music that I grew up with or naturally gravitated toward at that stage in my life.
The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy represented more aggressive sounds while Fatboy Slim and Moby represented a happier or more emotive side of the spectrum, I suppose.
I mention all of this because there was a stage where I could have been listening to The Chemical Brothers or Prodigy and wouldn’t have been able to the difference, and to be honest I was kind of meh on both.
Over the years, though, I started to listening to a lot more electronic music and my admiration for The Chemical Brothers grew a great deal. For me, at least, it’s more accessible, as better hooks, and has more of a great dance vibe versus Prodigy. I didn’t at all mean for this section to be a Let’s Bash Prodigy! fest, but more to explain how I got around to digging The Chemical Brothers.
Surrender’s first track, “Music:Response,” kind of snuck up on me, and/but it’s one that I like more every time I hear it. It’s a great opening track because it’s a table setter, a song that you can imagine being played by a DJ early in a set; it gets heads bopping a little bit, warming you up to the more intense tracks coming. But it’s really good in its own right and as bonus stands up as a song that is perfect for getting your brain fired up early in a coding, writing, or any kind of creative work session.
I really enjoy how The Chemical Brothers mix their sound with a dark synth vibe on “Got Glynt?” You can imagine it being on the soundtrack of some late 1980s movie, maybe a thriller, but most importantly everyone in it is super fashionable, has high cheek bones, and a vaguely European accent. David Bowie probably has a cameo in it.
“Hey Boy Hey Girl” is the rave at its peak*, everyone jumping, everyone moving. Everyone bouncing with glow sticks in perfect unison**.
* Full disclosure: I have never been to a rave in my life. It just never happened, and I’m really okay with it. I’m not a rave guy. I was a dive bar guy in my ill spent youth days, if that matters. If that alters your take on me or my opinions about The Chemical Brothers or electronic music, I get it. Kind of.
** Full disclosure II: That’s how I like to imagine it, okay?
I must mention the title track, “Surrender,” too, a really chill, happy, and pleasing side of The Chemical Brothers’ spectrum.