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Volume 3, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

New Fatboy Slim record is not worth the full price

Fatboy Slim

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

2 stars (of five)

By Chris Stelmak
Contributing Writer

Fatboy Slim has come a long way, but his new album doesn't meet the high expectations generated by previous releases.

Slim, a.k.a. Norman Clark, made a name for himself in America with You've Come a Long Way, Baby, his previous album. The British DJ's funky, soulful house gave pop radio a different sound. Although his latest release, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, still has that soulful sound, it misses the mark in terms of magic.

"Talking bout my Baby" opens the album with a little piano and joyful singing. Although it's simple, the song comes off smooth and sweet. Other tracks find Macy Gray providing vocals; her smooth raspiness mixes well with Slim's soft music and strong beats on "Demons."

Gray's other contribution, "Love Life," returns to the classic funk sound, as does the Bootsy Collins collaboration "Weapon of Choice." But the best songs on the album aren't those that feature guest appearances.

"Ya Mama" has to take the cake for the catchiest. The fast-paced tune brings back some of the old-school Slim sound that made him popular.

This album is OK, but the few strong tracks and the many mediocre ones are not enough to really pull it together. Pick up You've Come a Long Way, but leave Gutter and the Stars for the used music stores.

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