Album: The Altogether
Artist: Orbital
Label: FFRR
Year: 2001
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Just plain fun.

Orbital were one of those groups which started off churning out mediocre albums with one noteworthy, epic track each (Belfast; Halcyon + On + On; Are We Here?), then slowly got better with practice before finally splitting up.

Towards the end of their output, they released what were arguably their two best albums, The Middle of Nowhere and The Altogether. Out of the two, The Middle of Nowhere is probably the best in that it's a cohesive whole and generally sounds more professional, but The Altogether is actually more fun. With the exception of only two tracks, the skippable Pay Per View and Shadows, every cut is a catchy, upbeat number that you can dance to and that, above all, is just plain fun.

As soon as the opening track's energy fuelled bass kicks in, I can't help but picture the Hartnoll brothers wearing their head-mounted torches while bopping around the stage to the sound of their playful rhythms. Almost the whole album captures this feeling, making it one of the most enjoyable releases in my collection.

The production is clean and the mixes are loud, but while that's a bonus, it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, this album makes you want to dance around regardless of how silly you might look. If you want upbeat music that you'll actually enjoy without having to analyze it to death, then this album is a good one to go for.

For good measure, the Hartnoll brothers have also finally included their remix of the Dr. Who theme tune, which was a much-loved part of their live sets for some time. It fits in well with the rest of the album, continuing the theme of your brain thinking "I really shouldn't be listening to such silly nonsense" while your body's jumping around and enjoying it.

This is how I want to remember Orbital: their silly, untamed best.