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A Hundred Days Off


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Audio CD, September 24, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out of print in the U.S.! Originally released in 2002, A Hundred Days Off features 10 tracks including 'Sola Sistim', 'Momove' and 'Two Months Off'. Karl Hyde and Rick Smith came together in the early '80s in the Art-Rock/New Wave band Freur, who eventually morphed into Underworld in the latter part of the decade. By the early '90s, the duo had reinvented themselves as a modern Electronic outfit and achieved critical acclaim, worldwide success and became one of the most influential bands in clubland... all before the '90s came to a close. Underworld explored the fringes of Dub, Dance and Techno, creating a seamless, eclectic fusion of various Dance genres. JBO.

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Unlike the Chemical Brothers--their longstanding U.K. brothers in electronica--Underworld have been allowed to grow (relatively) old without being accused of stagnating. A Hundred Days Off, Underworld's first studio release since the departure of member Darren Emerson, demonstrates why. An ecstatic headrush of percolating beats, swirling synth, and shape-shifting melodies, A Hundred Days Off drags everything from Delta blues to space-age pop onto the dance floor. Because the pair takes their cues in part from the real world, filtering each idea through the prism of a rave record, we get wonky faux church bells chiming in one especially frenzied passage of the nine-minute epic "Two Months Off." Elsewhere, as on the curiously named "Trim," straightforward vocal phrasings are set against (what might be) twangy, scotch-soaked guitar while a static drum beat clicks in the distance. On the towering centerpiece track, "Dinosaur Adventure 3D," a vicious cymbal guts an otherwise unassuming house track, albeit one built on an increasingly complex (and speedy) palette of sounds, before a tribal vocal goosesteps over top. Clubby, dubby, and positively smokin'. --Kim Hughes

1. Momove
2. Two Months Off
3. Twist
4. Sola Sistim
5. Little Speaker
6. Trim
7. Ess Gee
8. Dinosaur Adventure 3d
9. Ballet Lane
10. Luetin

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 North America
  • ASIN: B00006JBKQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,329 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. G. on October 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'm always amused by the so-called "true fans" who only want their favorite bands to produce the same album over and over again. Sure, "Second Toughest in the Infants" was and is a great album...but whatever happened to judging an album on its own merits? You can't compare AHDO to 2nd Toughest, because, quite simply, the albums are 6 years removed. Would any Underworld fan really be happy if the group HAD produced the same album 3 different times, just because it did well critically? What artists worth their salt write music for CRITICS?? I am quite pleased with Underworld's new direction, actually. "2 Months Off" is a bright and cheerful barnburner, and a great choice for a single (the video for it was just perfect)...and the final percussion break left me wanting more, in a good way. "SolaSistim" blew me away as well, although in a different sense. I'd really like to hear the group try an all downtempo album after hearing that song.
It sounds to me like Hyde and Smith are using Emerson's departure as a launching point for new ideas (good or bad), which I always welcome from any artist...it's just unfortunate that the majority of listeners will always be comparing this current incarnation of Underworld with its early years. I loved Beaucoup Fish (God bless Jumbo!), and I love A Hundred Days Off...and I could care less what anyone else thinks. If musicians constantly lived in the past, music would certainly be boring, eh?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Distant Voyageur on May 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Underworld went into a state of limbo following the departure of one of their key members Darren Emerson in early 2000 and fans were left uncertain of their possible future. All of the uncertainties in my opinion have been completely blown away with their 2002 album entitled "A Hundred Days Off" and I have to say, it is another winning album.
The album might be disappointing at first. The songs are a lot simpler and shorter than and nowhere near as complex as those on their 3 famous previous albums. Despite the much simpler nature of the songs, this CD doesn't disappoint that much. Just don't expect explosive epic length tracks like "Banstyle/Curry" (Track 2 From "2nd Toughest") or "Rowla". Do expect great music to come from this album.
"Momove" leads this CD off. It starts with melodic bleeping effects and then becomes a highly danceable song with an odd atmosphere and grey ambience combined with pulsating rhythm. This song could almost fit well on "Beaucoup Fish". The song eventually intensifies towards the ending before the beats stop and the remaining parts of the song fade out. A wonderful opener. "Two Months Off" starts off with an odd whispering sound effect followed by a strong beat. The beat is followed by these odd chime like keyboards and then the song becomes a harmoniosl and upbeat song with a party like atmosphere. God only knows how well this song could do on the charts. "Twist" is a more laid back track with a darker and more tone down atmosphere but still with some upbeat and danceable rhythm. "Sola System" is an intoxicating ambient ballad with a jazzier style not heard before on any of Underworld's previous albums and has an addictive mix of keyboards, beat, and odd ambience that might appeal to those who love "Second Toughest". I just love the jazziness of the song.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angry Mofo on July 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
When Darren Emerson left Underworld, anyone could see that a critical backlash was coming. After all, Underworld had been consistently well received by the critics throughout their careers, even in the case of the somewhat disappointing Beaucoup Fish. But now, the critics had the perfect chance to turn on them, and many did, claiming that it just isn't Underworld without Emerson, and Hyde and Smith should just give up since they're obviously doomed to utter failure, and so on. Fortunately, they are wrong. A Hundred Days Off is a great comeback after Beaucoup Fish, and though it isn't the best Underworld album (that honour stays with their 1993 debut), it's really far better than anyone could expect given the circumstances. For instance, Hyde's lyrics are actually about things again! And he remembered that he owns a guitar! It's absolutely incredible!
That's not the extent of it, though. Aside from being about things, Hyde's delivery is once again potent and inspired. Take the second single "Dinosaur Adventure 3D," for instance. The music, eight minutes of very aggravated jungle with one four-note lead over the drums, is the weakest part, but the vocals are great - Hyde keens desperately in a Celtic style, and when he gets to "War machine! War machine!" it really is quite rousing, which hasn't been the case with Underworld for a while. If the music had more variety, the song could have replaced "Cowgirl" as Underworld's best anthem, but even as it is, it's quite a victory. "Two Months Off," the other single, is Underworld at their most elated, showing that they don't have to develop the themes of "Dirty Epic" to be good. The song leads one on for a minute of drums and samples, only to unleash the heavenly leads and usher in the real song, which sounds vaguely New Orderish.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By nosajmunson on July 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful CD. It is a Limited Edition Tour CD from the Underworld's 2002 Australia tour. This CD has 2 discs. The first disc is A Hundred Days Off. The underworld's newest release. Also their first CD without Darren Emerson. This is the exact same album as the standard version. Nothing fancy added on this disc. But that doesn't mean it isn't good. A hundred days off is a beautiful CD. It doesn't have the same pace as other Underworld CD's, but it is still a beautiful album and certainly worthy of praise.
Disc 2 has all the cool little extras. It contains the Live version of "CowGirl" from the Everything, Everything experience. It also has some cool, mellow, remixes of the first 2 singles off the new album. 2 Months Off and Dinosaur Adventure 3D. The remixes aren't the best I've heard, but still good. You can get them from other CD singles, but it is cheaper getting them on this disc.
What makes this CD worth it is the CD-ROM videos. Underworld Videos, since Born Slippy, are just so crazy good. The video for 2 Months Off is beautiful. Karl dancing in the rain in some weird pool in the middle of a forest. Dinosaur 3D is crazy. It tracks a bee that flies all over a city, causing hellish wind storms with its wings. Both videos are hard to come by in the States. This CD has both. And that added feature makes this 2 disc set a must have for all die hard Underworld Fans.
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