THE PRODIGY – “Baby’s Got A Temper”

The best bit of this record is the cheeky “Firestarter” quote about thirty seconds in – a blipvert reminder of who the long-gone Prodigy are, and a dash of swagger in a track which otherwise tells far more than it shows. ‘Cheeky’ was what the Prodigy did best, once upon a time, but “Baby’s…” runs on a five-year, not a ten-year memory. Club-metal beats, club-footed vocals – but there’s something clumsy and embarrassing about it. When Keith Flint sings about how he loves Roiphynol, how it gets him off, you crinkle your nose at the same whiff of bogus controversy you smelt around the “Smack My Bitch Up” video. They’re endorsing date-rape! But she’s a lesbian! Same stale difference.

What I want to know – and this goes for that Primals track too – is who is the target market here? Who do they think will buy it? Old fans like me? Maybe, but it’s risky putting that much trust in critical atrophy. The ‘kids’? Perhaps I’m projecting, but if I was 18 and had the choice of Eminem or even Fred Durst, and a silly old tart like Flint, I know which option would seem to offer more conviction, more challenge, more novelty, more fun. As it is I’m 29, I don’t even care about conviction and I still think this reeks.