Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Buy On
  1. Magnet
    Aug 12, 2015
    80
    The Chems remain committed to their singular vision, still plying those swooning synths, continuing to breathe new life from the echoes. [No. 123, p.55]
  2. Jul 27, 2015
    80
    Into this fray step the Chemical Brothers, 90s dance music titans, with their eighth studio album, their most enjoyable in years.
  3. Jul 20, 2015
    80
    Born in the Echoes is an excellent mash of familiar and vanguard, the very same formula that lifts all the duo's best albums above expectations.
  4. Jul 20, 2015
    80
    The Chemical Brothers continue to buck any notions of a creative burn-out with their strongest release in a decade.
  5. Jul 17, 2015
    80
    Born In The Echoes is another example of Rowlands and Simons' magic way of making machines sing.
  6. Jul 17, 2015
    80
    Born in the Echoes has five voices, but it is The Chemical Brothers' borrowing of landmark sounds from their own library that is the album's biggest strength.
  7. As so often before, the duo’s choice of vocal collaborators is timely and transformative, bringing fresh, unexpected angles to their pieces.
  8. Jul 16, 2015
    80
    The veteran duo and its guests are challenging and provocative throughout Born in the Echoes, even as they creatively blow up dance floors.
  9. Jul 13, 2015
    80
    At its best, Born in the Echoes is gloriously disorienting, restoring a woozy mania to a genre in danger of self-combusting in search of ever more euphoric pop highs. The kids will probably look on aghast. But old ravers will find themselves transported back to a time when electronica really did sound like the future.
  10. Jul 10, 2015
    80
    Born In The Echoes finds them capturing the most elusive sound of all. They sound, at last, like themselves again. [Aug 2015, p.90]
  11. 80
    Born In The Echoes is a bold reinvention of the Chemical Brothers’ sound, pushing the late-period renaissance that 'Further' heralded to somewhere dark and twisted.
  12. Jul 15, 2015
    78
    Echoes is more of a grab bag: Enormous festival fillers and hard-nosed club bangers rub up against wondrously bizarre studio experiments and some of the best pure pop songs Rowlands and Simons have ever made.
  13. 75
    Born in the Echoes is a pretty spry record for a few old pros, but the Brothers save their most arresting moment for last.
  14. Aug 12, 2015
    70
    Born In the Echoes maintains a pop-sensitive groove for all but two of its songs.... But the real winners on this record as usual are the curios.
  15. Aug 3, 2015
    70
    Born In The Echoes does not reveal anything startlingly new about The Chemical Brothers, but it is more than them simply ticking over, and clearly they have an eye on the future.
  16. Jul 24, 2015
    70
    Tracks [like “Just Bang” and “Reflexion”] that, while groovy and undeniably fun, ultimately feel as stripped away and shallow as the modern pop-electronic sounds the Chemical Brothers’ actively avoid. Luckily, this doesn’t prevent Born in the Echoes from feeling like a well-rounded record.
  17. Jul 20, 2015
    70
    At this point, the Brothers are effectively ­historians, and the album's most thrilling moments are often references to their own past or inspirations.
  18. 70
    Born In The Echoes continues their fusing of psychedelic head music with the dancefloor, and while it doesn’t break new ground, it’s a timely smack on the nose to the pretenders to their throne.
  19. Aug 18, 2015
    60
    Born In The Echoes follows the duo's formula of saving the more psychedelic tracks for the end.
  20. Jul 20, 2015
    60
    Born in the Echoes isn’t the sound of stagnation, nor the grim realisation of irrelevance, and there are numerous flourishes that can only come from a knowing skill set, but in the end, it’s only just good enough.
  21. Jul 17, 2015
    60
    The latest from the U.K. duo hits harder and lower than their last album, 2010's Further, with guest-vocal turns from artists as varied as Q-Tip and St. Vincent over tracks that could've torched an outdoor rave in 1995.
  22. Jul 17, 2015
    60
    Misfires aside, it’s tough to dispute that although Born in the Echoes may not be a great album, it is generally a competent one.
  23. Jul 15, 2015
    60
    Among the paint-by-numbers tracks, Born In The Echoes has still got a couple of artful numbers peppered throughout.
  24. Jul 14, 2015
    60
    Born in the Echoes is frontloaded with star power, and so it comes as a slowly dawning relief that that album isn't the Chems' Random Access Memories, but rather an attempt to strip away the detritus of the now and play to their own strengths.
  25. Q Magazine
    Jul 10, 2015
    60
    Mostly Born In the Echoes is a blast. It's just that sometimes it's a blast from the past. [Aug 2015, p.108]
  26. Uncut
    Jul 10, 2015
    60
    Born In The Echoes feels a bit Chemical Brothers by numbers. [Aug 2015, p.72]
  27. Jul 30, 2015
    40
    A sense of mood or inner life is glimpsed. But by that point [the final third of the album], it just seems like an echo of past glories.
  28. Jul 23, 2015
    40
    The dance duo extend the decade-long dilution of their canon with their new record, which is as technically accomplished as ever, but creatively exhausted.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 47
  2. Negative: 6 out of 47
  1. Jul 18, 2015
    6
    I'm a bit torn on this one... it's quite a treat in places, but I can't help but feel the album lacks ambition, cohesion and 'punch' overall.I'm a bit torn on this one... it's quite a treat in places, but I can't help but feel the album lacks ambition, cohesion and 'punch' overall. For every masterful track ('Taste Of Honey', 'Under Neon Lights', 'Born in the Echoes'), there's an anonymous one ('Sometimes I Feel So Deserted', 'Wide Open', 'Reflexion'). Tracks like 'I'll See You There' and 'Go' are somwhat "vintage Chemical Brothers" in their style, but it's been done before to better effect on their previous outings (the psychedelic hooks and arrangements of 'Setting Sun' and 'Let Forever Be' just blow 'I'll See You There' out of the water, as does 'Just Get Yourself High' and 'Galvanize' VS. 'Go').

    I also fail to sense the overall artistic direction of the album. Maybe it's the tracklist and transitions between tracks that's off, but the experimental tracks of the second half just don't 'fit' that well with the restrained dance tracks of the first. It may be intentional; but I always found that one of the Chemical Brothers' greatest strengths back in the day was their ability to merge a plethora of different musical influences into a cohesive, artistic whole. Whether you're listening to 'Let Forever Be' or 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl' you just KNOW it's the Chemical Brothers. Not so here, I'm afraid.
    I think part of the problem is that they've stripped their sound a bit to make it more minimalist in style - this can be a strength (the title track 'Born in the Echoes' is fantastic), but for the most part I just feel like it's robbed the Brothers' of their personality - the psychedelic edge and zaniness that made their early albums come together, come alive and explode. Seriously, check out the acid-induced production on 'Dig Your Own Hole' or 'Surrender'... it's so trashy, insane and original, you'll feel like you've gone to space and back when it's over!

    Just to be clear, while I'd love for them to embrace the experimental APPROACH to production of their earlier works a bit more, I'm NOT saying that they should just go 'back to their roots' and repeat the same kind of compositions over and over again... the best tracks on Born in the Echoes are the ones where they try something new and experimental (Taste Of Honey, Born in the Echoes, Under Neon Lights are AWESOME tracks). More of that, please! I'm actually one of the few who liked their colab. with Miguel on 'This is Not A Game', a fresh, weirdly unpolished psychedelic take on a pop-track - and I'm actually not that down on 'We Are the Night' which, while certainly not perfect, had a bit more personality than a lot of the tracks on here. I'm just saying that they shouldn't be afraid to be a bit more ambitious in their productions - experiment, go crazy! It's what made us fall in love with them in the first place. Besides, they've already established themselves as the godfathers of their genre - with no need to prove anything to anyone, why not just go mental and try something completely different?

    Here's hoping that their next album will be the masterpiece that I'm dead certain they still have in them... "The future - I'll see you there!" ;)
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 17, 2015
    9
    I love this record. It feels smarter and more restrained than previous Chemical Brothers albums. Sort of like they stopped trying so hard withI love this record. It feels smarter and more restrained than previous Chemical Brothers albums. Sort of like they stopped trying so hard with technical the gimmicks and wizardry, and gave way to a more confident, minimal sound. Full Review »
  3. Jul 17, 2015
    6
    Born In The Echoes is another example of Rowlands and Simons' magic way of making machines sing. A+

    Born In the Echoes is better than
    Born In The Echoes is another example of Rowlands and Simons' magic way of making machines sing. A+

    Born In the Echoes is better than Random Access Memories (Daft Punk 2013)
    It deserves a Grammy :)
    Full Review »