on August 28, 2005
Much has been written about this album in the past 8 years since its release and it has been appraised by many people - they were right. However, this is not your kind of music, if you're not into experimental music or you turn away from unusual patterns. Anyway, this album is Chemical Brothers and techno music at their best.
The album's first part manages to mix big beat techno music with rock and it blows down your head. Tracks 1 to 5 are as exhasuting a trip as they can be. Most people know "Block Rockin' Beats" which was a hit single in the UK and in the US as well. The song really rocks and is a perfect starter. However, as we move towards "Setting Sun" the threshold is pushed forward (especially with "Elektrobank") and the album reaches its first climax in "Setting Sun", in which Oasis' Noel Gallagher sings with a electric-guitar-vocoded voice and the track rocks like nothing I've ever heard before or eversince.
The second part of the album, namely "It Doesn't Matter", "Don't Stop The Rock" and the remix of "Get Up On It Like This" are pure techno (repetitive, loud but still interesting), while "Get Up On It Like This" heralds a different sound. I didn't like this part for the first few times I listened to the album but it grew on me.
The third part is a trip into the unknown. It is a completely unexpected turn which elevates this album into an array where only the best albums ever made belong. It begins with "Lost In The K-Hole", a chiller that has soothing beats and relaxes you. Then comes "Where Do I Begin", a superb song that features singer Beth Orton. After a slow start and a surprise twist it is mixed into the closing track, "The Private Psyhedelic Reel". And this is the point where you will be stunned. This is pure psychedelic music, nevertheless it is techno. It has a mesmerizing effect and it makes you want to go back to Track 1 and start the experience once again. The sooner you do this, the better it will be.
So here is my opinion: this is the quintessential techno album, far better than the Chems' debut album, Exit Planet Dust (which is still damn good), it is a concept album with a concept that works. It surpasses even Orbital's Orbital 2 which held the throne before Dig Your Own Hole. This is a must have.
on October 23, 1999
Ignore the semi-illiterate "music fans" that give this masterpiece one star. The Chemical Brothers have made an album that easily outpaces any other electronica, dance, techno, or whatever you want to call it album ever made. Whether or not you like the brothers Gallagher, "Setting Sun" is a masterpiece of techno-rock fusion. "Block Rockin' Beats" is the answer to the critcs that call "Dig Your Own Hole" a "rock" album -- try not dancing to it. In short, buy this album. Ignore the kindergarten music critics, and do yourself a favor.
on June 22, 2000
The Chemical Brothers first gave us a taste of their genius on "Exit Planet Dust", and it was certainly a good album. But "Dig Your Own Hole" is even better. The pounding break beats would set the pattern for genre over the next few years. This album, along with Prodigy's "The Fat of the Land" was essential to the rise of electronica into mainstream popularity in the U.S. It opened the door to the top of the charts for artists like Moby and Fatboy Slim, who are now possibly more popular than the Brothers themselves.
It is easy to see why "Dig Your Own Hole" was so popular, with powerhouse singles like "Setting Sun" and "Block Rocking Beats" and a great album to back them up. The banging drums and driving synth form a distinctive and powerful sound that set the Brothers apart from the rest of the electronic world. This album should be a part of any electronica collection.
on May 11, 2015
'Dig Your Own Hole' wastes no time turning the knobs to 11. For the most part, this album is quite fast-paced, and much louder than 'Exit Planet Dust.' And ultimately I think that makes it the better album.
'Block Rockin' Beats' is as big as the name suggests, the very hallmark of this album and the sound that really put these guys on the map. It was the first song I heard by them and I had to have the album right away. If you know The Chemical Brothers, you probably know this song.
'Dig Your Own Hole' (the song) continues in a similar style, but almost tricks you by veering a bit away from the rock and a little more toward the techno. If you're wanting more 'Block Rockin' Beats,' you might feel a little cheated because this song doesn't sound quite the same. In fact, none of them do, there's only one 'Block Rockin' Beats' on this album, that's what makes it so great. But I digress; if you happen to not like it much at first, just keep listening to it and you'll realize it's a great song.
'Electrobank' freaking rocks. Seriously, this is a song you have to listen to over and over again to really appreciate. I'm listening to it as I write this and I can't stop listening to it. "Who is this doin' this synthetic type of alpha beta psychedelic funkin'?" This song morphs into a totally different song with minutes to spare, and it's all good. My goodness, this song is a gem.
'Piku' starts off rather weirdly funky, but then drops into the real groove, which is more my style. If you have a habit of listening to the first 30 seconds of a song to make a quick judgment, you may never get around to listening to this since the good stuff doesn't really hit until about 50 seconds in, but it's great. Dabbling in music myself, I enjoy manipulating loops to create new beats and that's similar to what they do here (although it's way more than that).
'Setting Sun' - funny story about this song. I had listened to this for years, but never being a big fan of the Beatles, I one day heard 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and was immediately blown away by how it sounded like a Chemical Brothers song! Specifically, this song. That's not to say that this is a rip-off of that song, but there's so many similarities that you can really hear the Beatles influence. The fact that these songs were constructed so differently, and can carry such a similar impact is kind of mind-blowing. They are a lot of differences between them, but if you like 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' you'll probably love 'Setting Sun.'
'It Doesn't Matter' is a song which chops up a vocal phrase, which I rather enjoy, and it demonstrates pretty well what they can do with a simple looped phrase. It's a little repetitive, but I enjoy the heavy bass, the drums, and the heavy chopping of the vocals near the end.
'Don't Stop the Rock' - if 'It Doesn't Matter' is repetitive, then 'Don't Stop the Rock' is even more so. It's also more atonal. Obviously the name of the song is tongue-in-cheek since there's no rock in the song! I actually don't dislike this song, but I imagine most people will on first listen unless you really dig this type of music. For me it's more the type of track that I can listen to in the background (while doing work or something).
'Get Up On It Like This' is a great jam. Starting off with some great beats, they bring back some guitar with what sounds like to my ears an orchestra hit. I kind of wish this song was longer.
'Lost in the K Hole' is not just a great name for a song, it's a great song. I love the drum samples in this song and the beats they've created, along with the bass guitar and dream-like bell-type melodies. I can listen to this song over and over again. It's beautiful. A really nice break from the fast-paced, rock- and/or techno-heavy sounds of the other songs.
'Where Do I Begin' is another slow, mellow song with female vocals, a staple of Chemical Brothers albums, and a very good one.
'The Private Psychedelic Reel' is a monster of a song, a huge synth-driven, Eastern-sounding song that piles on the layers and punches you in the face with awesomeness. The drums really pack a punch. The only bad thing about this song is that it means that the album is almost over. But it's an absolutely great way to end it.
It's hard for me to place this album on my list of favorite Chemical Brothers albums. It's definitely at the top, but I find that some of their later albums have some songs that blow most of these away, and yet still, as a whole album, this is one of their best. It's extremely consistent and has some great sounds. I can listen to it all the way through without skipping anything. Comparing it to its two closest siblings, it's probably slightly better than 'Exit Planet Dust' and just not quite as good as 'Surrender.' Overall an amazing album, and one that any fan of The Chemical Brothers must own.
on November 24, 1999
First of all, my review is takes the point of view of one who likes electronica music. If you don't like electronica chances are you will not like this CD. If you do like electronica, then most likely you will either like this CD or absolutely love it.
At least one of the songs is repetitive to annoyance. Most of the songs are good, while a few (like "lost in the k-hole" and "where do i begin") are absolutely great. Considering that no album has reached the utmost peak of perfection, I recommend this CD. This CD was the one that got me hooked on electronica.
on December 22, 1999
This album is downright amazing. Not all the songs are great, granted, but it has many strong tracks, unlike so many albums that have one good song amidst mediocrity.
Starting off with the ever-popular Block Rockin' Beats and working its way into the meaty breakbeatiness of Piku, the traditional fat sounds of the Brothers are established early on. Thrown in the middle is "Setting Sun," a widely popular track in Europe. The album takes a turn midway with "It Doesn't Matter", going for weird vocoder-ish effects. The album gets very strange with "Don't Stop The Rock", featuring funky guitar licks with mildly cheesy bell-like things. Near the end, "Where Do I Begin" is a sweet ballad reminiscent of "One Too Many Mornings."
Overall, this is a great piece of work, well deserving of the grammys it garnered. Buy it. If you already have it, go listen to it. Straight through, in one sitting. Now.
on November 23, 2000
This is in some ways the peak of the Chemical Brothers. "Block Rockin' Beats" still blows my mind every time I hear it. "Elektrobank" is so intense and driving it's impossible to sit still. "The Private Psychedelic Reel" is, well, psychedelic, almost epic. "Get Up On It Like This" is big-beat at it's finest. These tracks represent the highlights of the Chemicals' catalog.
However, it also shows them at their most irritating. "Setting Sun" has never been more than an annoyance for me, a failed attempt to bridge rock and dance. "It Doesn't Matter" is techno at its most repetitive with no payoff. "Where Do I Begin" tries to be both a dance song and a trip-hop ballad, and fails at both. (If you want to hear a song that succeeds at this, by the way, listen to Groove Armada's "At The River".) This isn't even mentioning the filler like "Lost In The K-Hole" or "Don't Stop The Rock".
Overall, I have to give "Dig Your Own Hole" four stars, because when it's on, it's really on. But be warned... it's a very uneven album. Buy it for the highlights and program around the rest.
on March 24, 2003
Honestly, albums like this make the whole practice of music criticism look like gibberish. They speak for themselves. Fluently and deftly and urgently. Dig Your Own Hole grabs you by the throat, throttles you with grooves--and you will love every freaking minute of it. My personal favorite is the title track, whose manic weaving is unlike anything you've heard. "Lost in the K-Hole" doesn't get much mention, but it strikes me as immediately accessible with its downbeat funky breaks and samples. And although it's been lauded many times in these reviews, The otherwordly "Private Psychedelic Reel" cannot be overrated. It's the magnum opus of the record--a building, moving "instrumental" that could easily have gotten the Grammy nod over Block Rockin' Beats. How can something electronic be so frighteningly beautiful? Because the quality of being electronic--in short, the entire notion of genre--has nothing to do with musical greatness. Whatever the heck you want to call it, Dig Your Own Hole is the real thing.
on August 25, 2007
this is busy music. when i listened to it yesterday it was definitely on the move, off to somewhere. probably a party, judging from the sound of things. parents should keep this cd away from their children. kids might hear this thing and decide that a life devoted to keeping the stock market afloat is not a life at all. corporate profits might suddenly seem silly. the bottom line might be twisted into the bass line. conservative principles could be overturned in impressionable minds. all that could happen. it really could. so, if you are an adult and can keep your cool, then buy this. it's good stuff. just hide it from the kids.
on May 30, 2013
This album represents the break from underground rave sensation to mainstream electronic fame. With the debut hit track, "Block Rockin' Beats" and the follow up "Setting Sun", Chemical Brothers came out of the rave/house underground and into the limelight. A must for any electronic/house anthology collection.