The Chemical Brothers – Surrender: #865 of best 1,000 albums ever!

The Chemical Brothers - Surrender

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.

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 with that it was a form of music that took on a much more significant place in popular culture.

The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy represented more aggressive sounds within the space while Fatboy Slim and Moby fronted a happier and/or more emotive side of the spectrum, I suppose.

Full disclosure: there was a time when I could have been listening to The Chemical Brothers or Prodigy and wouldn’t have been able to quickly tell the difference — and to be honest I was kind of meh on both.

Over the years, though, I started 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, has better hooks, and has a stronger dance vibe versus Prodigy. I didn’t at all mean for this section to be a Let’s Bash Prodigy! fest, but wanted 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 to the album 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 also 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.

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 rating3 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.