Greatest hits: album reviews

A fat collection of Slim

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 July, 2006, 12:00am

Fatboy Slim's greatest hits collection, Why Try Harder, is a reminder of why he's one of the world's most prominent DJs.

Slim, whose real name is Norman Cook, blends hip hop, breakbeat and rock. Like Chemical Brothers, he is famous for bringing club music into the living room.

The album is a superb collection of 18 hits, including Santa Cruz, The Rockafeller Skank and Praise You. There are also two new tracks, Champion Sound and That Old Pair of Jeans, which features vocalist Lateef of Blackalicious.

Slim often loops familiar vocal samples into his tracks, and soups them up in his trademark funky style. Sunset (Bird of Prey) is built around a vocal sample of Jim Morrison from The Doors.

The album also showcases his excellent remixing skills. He magically transforms Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and Groove Armada's I See You Baby into great dance tracks without losing their original mood.

A DVD of Slim's wacky music videos is included in the compilation. Highlights are Weapon of Choice featuring film actor Christopher Walken gliding like a ballerina, and Spike Jonze's offbeat Praise You, in which a group of middle-aged people shimmy hysterically.

Cook's dance tracks, such as Everybody Loves a Carnival, are full of sunshine and good times. You will picture yourself on a beautiful beach even though you're only dancing alone in your bedroom.

If you want to know more about Fatboy Slim and his decade of big beat tunes, you can't go wrong with Why Try Harder.