Girls I do adore: General feeling* seems to be that The Prodigy have pulled it off and that “Girls” has them back on firing form. A few radio encounters in I’m not convinced. It’s not a bad record, let alone an awful one, but I’m a little suspicious that it’s only fondness elevating “Girls” from mess into masterpiece. After all, if you ignore “Baby’s Got A Temper” the Prodigy are one of the great singles bands, absolute masters at taking a style of dance music and wringing maximum pop potential out of it with barely a compromise needed. (They got more and more defensive about this as they went on and I think that told against them, but maybe that was just the interviews.)

“Girls” doesn’t disgrace that track record but I don’t think it really adds to it. It feels weirdly disconnected from the rest of the popscape, whereas the band always used to sound like a plugged-in, amped-up version of what ‘dance music’ was up to. Sounding like Stakker Humanoid doesn’t help the sense of dislocation. I’m quite prepared to imagine that by the time I’ve heard it properly a half-dozen times “Girls” will have resolved itself into fabulousness, so don’t take this as my final word. But my penultimate word is definitely “hmmmmm”.

*sources: workmates, weblogs