Barking - Underworld
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Although this is hardly Underworld at their finest, the duo's songwriting fits the mainstream productions and results in a solid dance album for the 2010s--music for aging-raver activities like driving cars, pushing swings, or jogging on treadmills.
  2. Underworld's new album is distinctly Underworld, and has a greater cohesiveness than those previous two full lengths, as well as a greater appeal.
  3. So Barking stays the course, with the added prospect of a fitter, happier Underworld on the horizon. It's about time.
  4. 80
    With experiments in disco, dubstep and drum'n'bass all unmistakably Underworld, Barking is the sound of veterans re-energised. [Oct 2010, p.
  5. The duo have remained one of the few constants in UK dance music. [Oct 2010, p.120]
  6. Despite its title, Barking is, in some ways, the most tuneful Underworld album yet, which isn't saying a lot.
  7. This collaboration-heavy eighth album tends to fail when it experiments.
  8. Overall, Barking is a hit-and-miss situation. [Summer 2010, p.89]
  9. 70
    Underworld is freed up to focus on crafting memorable tunes that hark back to their electronica heyday, as well as more personal, coherent lyrics. Earnest emotions surprisingly suit these dance-floor surrealists.
  10. As it stands though, Barking is a mostly-solid album let down by a couple of weak links.
  11. While each track sounds different to the one that preceded it, they all manage to fit together as a coherent whole. Barking is still a credible effort and a pleasant listen, but it is also unremarkable and, had it been released by artists whose fame didn't precede them, it probably would not have made any waves.
  12. The album can't sustain the energy of early tracks like "Bird" and "Scribble," but while the blaze lasts, it's definitely worth warming yourself up on. [Oct 2010, p.120]
  13. This time Karl Hyde and Rick Smith team up with a revolving cast of dance producers (Appleblim, Al Tourettes, High Contrast), hoping one of the many approaches to rock-meets-techno will again produce a bankable hit. Surprise! That doesn't happen.
  14. They may not be sticking their necks out as pioneers now but it's not important --they are never less than themselves, and superficial quibbles aside this is the sound of musicians with nothing to prove and everything to give.
  15. 76
    Where Underworld was once a dark foil to what was generally a culture of peace, love and hedonism, in these grim times, Barking is a relatively upper's affair, and something of a techno's-greatest-bits.
  16. Even the forecast backlash from fans of the trance era can't dent Barking's relentless enthusiasm, and given the sufficient exposure and time, everyone should be able to party to it. It's just that for an Underworld album it sounds distinctly un-Underworld, and more like someone's asked Smith and Hyde to ghost-write a Now! compilation.
  17. 80
    Thirty years into their collaboration, Underworld's Rick Smith and Karl Hyde continue to sit at the forefront of dance music innovation. Barking is just further proof that Underworld isn't going anywhere.
  18. Jan 11, 2011
    80
    Eight satisfying songs of rhythm and groove later, Underworld pulls a fast one, yanking the cord with album finale "Louisiana," which features beautiful keys, languid vocals and a gentle, time-keeping beat that lulls listeners into the blissful ether.

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