March 13, 2008


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Junkie XL, Booming Back at You
Artwerk Records, March 11
Given XL’s lust for metal (he’s remixed Rammstein and Fear Factory) and go-to-guy cred as a video game backgrounder, it’s obvious that subtlety isn’t one of his dominant characteristics. Everything with this dude is about cutting through the ADD — the music, the collaborations (Tiesto and Sasha in the past, and here, Steve Aoki, in the apocalyptic EBM power-up “1967 Poem”), and even the business end (Electronic Arts and Nettwerk Records hooked up to get this out).

This ain’t no disco this time — on his fifth album, XL wants the planet. “Booming Right at You” aims to supplant Chemical Brothers’ “Block Rockin Beats” as the quintessential big-beat oaf-in-the-boombox monster-truck anthem, while “Clash” could easily fill the void left in the loudspeakers at pro sports events now that Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part II” has been banished. And like Oakenfold, XL will whip out the hot chick to sing over extra-crispy rave numbers; Lauren Rocket plays the part of Brittany Murphy in an in-your-face re-do of Siouxsie’s “Cities in Dust.” Do yourself a favor and do a Select All when downloading; there’s nothing wrong here. AEric W. Saeger