Chase & Status — What Came Before — Album Review
Electronic | Dance | Drum ‘n’ Bass
While I would call myself someone who has quite the eclectic love for music, I have dabbled into dance music more rarely than most other genres. Nevertheless, Chase & Status definitely stand as an example of creators of dance music that I truly enjoy.
After all, their 2011 album No More Idols remains one of my favourite dance albums ever, and made up a large staple of my musical teenhood. Said album really has stood the test of time, and still somehow feels refreshing to this day. Nevertheless, I am here to write about a brand new album from Chase & Status, released more than a decade later.
What Came Before essentially serves as my re-introduction to the duo, as I have rarely listened to any other Chase & Status material after discovering No More Idols. That isn’t to say that I had been disinterested in their following works, but for one reason or another, they kind of went under my musical radar, until now. That being said though, I wasn’t too sure what I would be getting into with What Came Before; the entire album would be a fresh listen for me.
To my satisfaction, What Came Before definitely still encapsulates the essence of what make Chase & Status unique; striking a great balance between gritty rave-ready bangers to more atmospheric tunes that would feel right at home in a festival environment. On top of this, there are a few tracks sprinkled throughout, such as “5am” and “Consciousness” that capture a slight reminiscence of Royskopp.
But at the same time, however, there is also a more “typical” feel to this album as well. This could perhaps work in the duo’s favour, as What Came Before definitely feels more accessible. But then again, did it even really need to be? It’s kind of a hard feeling to put a finger on, in regards to reviewing this album; while a very satisfactory piece, it doesn’t exactly blow me away either.
But, I digress. There’s no denying that this album does a very solid job of reflecting a new generation of dance music fans, while playing into that current feel with the integration of drill elements. But then again, with No More Idols featuring the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Tempa T, for instance, it’s not like they haven’t done this before.
In conclusion though, What Came Before, while invoking a slightly indifferent mental verdict from myself, was definitely a well deserved reintroduction to Chase & Status for myself. I was glad that I was able to reconnect with the sonic feeling that the duo effortlessly provides. I definitely still look forward to how the singles on this album will play a part in my soundtrack of summer 2022. But the way I see it, many of these fit right in with such a soundtrack.
Favourite Tracks: Censor | 5am | Headtop
Least Favourite Track: When It Rains
Mercury Records | EMI