The Chemical Brothers entered the new millennium looking tired. Their third album, 1999’s ‘Surrender’, featured massive hits in ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ and ‘Let Forever Be’. But there was a creeping feeling that they had lost their musical nerve and were beginning to re-tread old ground, returning to The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ and Noel Gallagher on ‘Let Forever Be’ and relying once again on Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue on ‘Dream On’.
‘Surrender’ was a good album, sure. But it was no ‘Dig Your Own Hole’, the Brothers’ miraculously expansive second album, and it lacked the box-fresh vitality of their debut, ‘Exit Planet Dust’. The duo were hardly alone in feeling a bit astray as 2000 loomed: the big beat scene that The Chemical Brothers had once been associated with was dead in the water, as was electronica in the US. By the time 2001 rolled around, dance music itself looked tired, lying in a kind of post Millennial doze, while The Strokes and the White Stripes made rock look cool.
Expectations were not particularly high, then, for ‘Come With Us’, the Brothers’ fourth album, on its release in 2002. Not many dance acts got to their fourth album, and it was felt that The Chemical Brothers had had a good run. So it was something of shock that ‘Come With Us’ managed to reinvigorate the duo’s career, connecting them more closely to the world of clubs and DJing than they had been for a long while, and rejuvenating their sound.