A Break from the Norm

Norman Cook

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A Break from the Norm Review

by Bret Love

Even casual fans of Fatboy Slim (or those who don't care for him at all, for that matter) should be able to appreciate this ultra-hip compilation, which digs into the artist formerly known as Norman Cook's eclectic record crates to unearth 15 gems he's sampled to create some of his best songs. Starting off appropriately enough with Camille Yarbrough's sexy soul-funk classic, "Take Yo' Praise," which formed the foundation for the artist's hit single "Praise You," this is the rare various-artists collection good enough to stand on its own merits. From well-known artists like Lulu and Bill Withers to lesser-knowns like the Just Brothers and the John Barry Seven, whose "Sliced Tomatoes" and "Beat Girl" Cook sampled to create "Rockerfella Skank," there's not a single weak track in the bunch, providing fans with a glimpse into the refreshingly unique musical influences behind one of electronic music's most consistently intriguing artists.

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