Chumbawamba had been kicking around the British indie scene for years, releasing nine albums before Tubthumper unexpectedly brought the band to the top of the charts not only in England, but around the world. The difference between Tubthumper and the rest of Chumbawamba's catalog lay in "Tubthumping," a giddily infectious blend of big dance beats, pop hooks, and football chants. It's a standout single, one that finds the group at its catchiest, and there isn't anything quite as good on the remainder of Tubthumper, an album that finds the group downplaying its notorious political radicalism in favor of pop and dance. Still, there's a handful of cuts scattered throughout the record that make the album worthwhile, and there's no denying that "Tubthumping" is a hit single unlike any other. It's one of the least likely hit singles ever, and that alone makes the record distinctive.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine