Back on a Mission

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While electronic music acts such as the Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, and Fatboy Slim propelled their careers with loads of press coverage in the media-savvy U.K. before bringing their publicity campaigns to the U.S., Cirrus unfortunately didn't have the same opportunity despite making similar music. Based in Los Angeles, the group merged electronic sounds such as acid and breakbeats with accessible song structures, vocals, and the occasional guitar riff on Back on a Mission. The record finds them trying many different styles over the course of ten songs, opening with two guitar riff-driven songs with vocals, followed by an acid-spewing anthem with catchy samples, and then by a rap song. Later songs on Back on a Mission don't get quite as ambitious and tend to be suitable acid breakbeat songs with samples. Nothing on this album is as blatantly danceable as the Chemical Brothers' Exit Planet Dust, as polluted with catchy hooks as Fatboy Slim's You've Come a Long Way, Baby, or as aggressive as Prodigy's Fat of the Land. Instead, Cirrus focuses on keeping their beats funky with a broad palette of hi-tech electronic sounds. Unfortunately, the diverse nature of the album prevents it from maintaining a consistent vibe throughout. Listeners may enjoy the rock feel of "Back on a Mission," the acid calamities of "Stop & Panic," or the futuristic Beastie Boys rap of "Abba Zabba," but few will enjoy everything on this album. Had Cirrus stayed true to a concrete dancefloor foundation as Crystal Method did on Vegas or stayed true to rock motifs as the Chemical Brothers did on Surrender, this album would be a much more enjoyable listen. Instead, it sounds like an indecisive group trying to spread itself thin in hopes of making everyone like something about them; in other words, the group comes off as desperate for appeal.

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