I did not listen to dance music in the 1990s. (I do not listen to it now except for my podcast). But this album was big enough that its three biggest tracks – “Right Here, Right Now,” “The Rockafeller Skank” and “Praise You” – I know really well. I know them better than most of the other dance hits of the era because they were played on alternative radio and because of their videos, which got played a ton on Much Music. Given how similar to alternative music programmers at the time thought this music was, and given my familiarity with three of these songs, you’d think I would like this more than other dance music. But alas, that is not the case.
I don’t know whether I’m just old or what, but Cook’s attitude – particularly on the exasperating “In Heaven” – does absolutely nothing for me. It comes across as a distraction at best, and it fees inauthentic, given his age when he made this. It probably has a lot to do with my reaction to this record.
But the other thing is how unbelievably ’90s this record sounds. It feels like it could only have ever been released in 1998, it’s so full of ’90s alternative electronic cliches. Maybe they weren’t cliches in 1998 but I fee like I’ve heard enough of this type of music now to know they were getting there. But, even if they aren’t cliches, they are rendered such by the lack of diversity on the record, which sounds pretty much the same all the way through. It’s tiresome to listen to over an hour of it and I find myself actually wishing I was listening to other electronic music from the era, something I wouldn’t normally say.
But so much of this is an emotional reaction I’m having, probably primarily to only a couple of tracks. I know intellectually that this is well made and it was a big deal. I just really don’t like it.
6/10 I guess