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Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

3.7 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 14, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is an album of raw energy where the beats are the stars, and the voices just samples in Liam's sonic armoury. The guests whose vocals have undergone Howlett's subverted cut up techniques include Liam Gallagher, Juliette Lewis, Kool Keith, Princess Superstar, Ping Pong Bitches, Twista, Shahin Bada (better known as the spine tingling chanteuse from 'Smack My Bitch Up') and unknown lo-fi singer songwriter Paul Jackson from Dirt Candy.

Masters of reinvention, rave stalwarts Prodigy have undergone another remarkable facelift for their fourth album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. For band leader Liam Howlett, this mutation was less about ambitious experimentation and more the result of crucial damage control: the band's disastrous 2002 comeback campaign, spearheaded by "Baby's Got a Temper" found the band stagnant and on the verge of self-parody. Howlett's response was to scrap the sessions, hunker down with a laptop and hammer out an album that held spontaneity as a virtue. And while the old touchstones--the propulsive breakbeats of old-skool hip-hop, the brooding menace of punk-rock and acid-house--are all here sporting a fresh chrome gleam, they're joined by new influences: everything from crunk hip-hop to Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker" bubbles beneath the surface of "Girls." Maxim and Keith Flint are absent, replaced by a bizarre roll call of stars--Liam Gallagher, Juliette Lewis, Twista--and obscurities…anyone remember the Ping Pong Bitches? Not that it matters: this is Howlett's album, and whether he's rewiring Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz" as Middle Eastern-tinged acid techno on "Phoenix" or clashing with Kool Keith on "Wake Up Call," he sounds back on top of his game. --Louis Pattison

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Spitfire
  2. Girls
  3. Memphis Bells
  4. Get Up Get Off
  5. Hot Ride
  6. Wake Up Call
  7. Action Radar
  8. Medusa's Path
  9. Phoenix
  10. You'll Be Under My Wheels
  11. The Way It Is
  12. Shootdown
  13. More Girls

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Maverick
  • ASIN: B0002M5T16
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Mainly because lots of people want "Fat of the Land". People need to realize that getting another "Fat of the Land" would be just that. The same album, same would basically just be like every other rock album out there, same guitars, same vocals, same of everything. Yeah this isn't a "rock" album, but others could argue that it stands twice as high on the hill then any of the other mainstream crap that comes outta the record label poopshoot nowdays. This album does exactly what Liam Howllet said it would do. It goes back to the roots of the Prodigy, bringing back the big and loud beats that "Music for the Jilted Generation" brought us. It goes back to a lot of the instrumental and sprinkled vocals we used to get from them. It doesn't have Keith Flint or Maxim, but then again THEY weren't "The Prodigy". They brought the added intensity to the live shows and in "Fat of the Land" the demented vocals that we all know. Keith and Maxim are fun to listen to of course, but it seemed to be more about them and not a lot about what the music was really doing. It's time we got to hear some new blood on a Prodigy album for once. This release is gonna catch a lot of debree from the Keith and Maxim fans, but they're still in the group. They were originally the dancers of the group, not the vocalists. But this album gets back to what Liam did best, pounding the crap out of your ears and making you scream for more raw eletronic mayhem. And he succeeds in everyway. I can't wait for the new albums that will be produced sooner or later. The Prodigy still has balls to kick the (...) outta you.
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Format: Audio CD
Starting off strong with the indian beats that make anything cool, 'Spitfire' is a brilliant single and an excelent way to sell this album. It sounds like a track that could have been on 'Fat of the Land' and since that is their BEST album it only makes sense that any likeness to it would sell a record. But it doesn't end there. Another favorite is 'Memphis Bells' which uses the 'bells' perfectly to create a masterpiece gone arry. The guest stars are a perfect choice, from Juliette Lewis on 'Hot Ride' and Twista (my personal favorite) spitting fury on 'Get Up Get Off'. The ode to Michael Jacksons 'Thriller' is apparent on 'The Way it Is' but Prodigy manages to make something new and different out of it, not just recycling it but acually reimagining it. 'Phoenix' is another standout track that takes advantage of the indian vibe and 'Action Radar's "a little action is all i need" will get the mood right (and is it just me or does she sound like Shirley Manson? I mean, this sounds like a track that could have come out on Garbage's 2.0) ANyways, buy this album, it's that good!
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Format: Audio CD
With seven years between albums an eon and a half for an electronic music outfit, Prodigy should hope to pick up a whole slew of new fans after they play the first track on this return. Spitfire comes out swinging, big, loud, obnoxious, addictive. It's followed by perhaps the best track on the album, the single Girls, combining the hip-hop of old, a whole slew of styles and a massive, fuzzy, Fat of the Land-style beat.

Those two tracks may likely be the strongest, but it's a good album right through the end. It's all Liam Howlett here, as Keith Flint and Maxim don't contribute a lick, and perhaps for the best. Howlett's got his beats, his laptop, his toys, and he's generating a massive sound. Instead of vocals by Flint, we have a string of guests, most notably Juliette Lewis (whose Spitfire lyrics are so distorted I thought it was Zack de LaRouche at first), as well as Kool Keith, Liam Gallagher and others. I like how the guests are often so distorted that they sound like old samples, an interesting technique.

Basically, Howlett scrapped the direction of Prodigy after the lousy 2002 single Baby's Got a Temper, a lame ode to Rohypnol that came and went and is thankfully not included here. This is pretty raw, and promising. It remains to be seen if Howlett can come up a new 'thing' in less than seven years now.

Forget the critics, this is good, it's not deep stuff, it's loud, it's fist-pumping, you can move. There's nothing absolutely ground-breaking or anything to really make you think, but it's good at what it does.
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Format: Audio CD
Being a massive fan of the previous Prodigy albums, I was so disappointed in this album I very nearly sold it after one listen. Basically, if you're expecting anything FOTL you won't get it here. It's logical to consider that after 7 years, the Prodigy sound has changed massively. If we had got more 'Baby's Got A Temper', it might as well be called Fat Of The Land II. Tracks such as Spitfire, The first six tracks contain the club funkability of the previous CD, yet at a more hip hop, bouncy pace. The whole vibe of the album is spiky, punky and raw. I'd say the only bad tracks are 'Phoenix' and 'Action Radar', because neither contains the pure sonic energy nor funkability and production skill of The Prodigy. Overall, depending on whether you're a hardcore fan, a massive fan (like me) or just interested, you'll either rate AONO as either a weak, crappy collection of songs, a fat and different change to The Prodigy sound, or a wholesome break from normal dance.
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