Underworld’s First Album In Five Years Is Out Now
Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future (Astralwerks) – Underworld’s seventh studio album – is out now and available here. The U.K. duo, composed of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, will play a series of headline dates and festivals throughout Europe and just concluded a trio of U.S headline dates including Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
SPIN named Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future as the Album of the Week, hailing Underworld as “positively radiant.” Praising the closing track, “Nylon Strung,” Pitchfork noted, “The effect is stunning, the kind of music that makes you sob happysad tears in your car in the Sunday afternoon sunlight as you think about the people you wish were riding with you. Underworld’s never had trouble getting listeners to their feet. This gorgeously love-drunk finale makes Barbara a record that can bring them to their knees.”
“On ‘Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future,’ the group proves that its late-career live ferocity is still matched by its sonic inventiveness and resonant songwriting,” said the Los Angeles Times, noting that the album “stacks up with their best work and suggests that the ideas they pioneered in the ’90s aren’t just back en vogue — they’ve held up amid decades of fast-moving techno.”
NPR observed, “Barbara Barbara feels less like a new beginning and more a reminder of how far they’ve come. No track reflects this quite like ‘Ova Nova,’ which blends elements from some of their best work into a swirl of synths and chants.” Entertainment Weekly concurred, noting, “[Underworld] hit all the right pop pleasure points: ‘Ova Nova’ starts with a throbbing bass and strummy nylon-string guitars but slowly builds into a heavenly chorus that’s pure peak-of-the-late-night-rave bliss.”
In a nine-star review, PopMatters said, “Underworld…have made an album that is absolutely, unabashedly classic Underworld…Some excellent albums just feel like the product of hard, painstaking, stressful work. Some, like this one, just feel like artists who have reached a point in their history and craft that their work is just, to quote Hyde, a ‘radiant mirror’ of their selves. This is music for that shining future.”
The video for lead single “I Exhale” – directed by longtime collaborator Simon Taylor – can be viewed below.