Fatboy Slim The Greatest Hits: Why Try Harder

If there ever was a poster boy for the slogan "Everyone’s a DJ” it would without question be Norman Cook. Somehow a geeky bassist for ’80s glee pop group Housemartins became the world’s biggest DJ and the most commercially accessible in dance music thanks to a sense of humour and a cut & paste philosophy that twisted pop, rock, hip-hop, house and big beat. This aptly-titled hits collection obviously shows Cook’s still having a laugh, but like many of these rushed retrospectives (he’s still at it), it also shows why Fatboy’s popularity has become a lot leaner since the millennium hit. It’s hard to deny the man has only released one good album to date; You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby was a landmark achievement back in the late ’90s and clearly his greatest moment, considering four of this collection’s nine good songs stem from that record. And by today’s standards what’s good here should be subject to a full re-examination. The sad fact is that Fatboy Slim’s buoyant dance tunes nowadays sound dated and irrelevant to what has been popular since we began the 2000s. Even worse are those tracks that entered the new millennium. "Weapon of Choice” is a prime example, as without its embarrassing Christopher Walken visuals it is nothing but "Mambo No. 5” stripped of its Latin heritage. Even worse is "Don’t Let the Man Get You Down” — with its offensive use of Five Man Electrical Band’s "Signs” — which sounds like his young son was given full creative control. And judging by the sounds of the two new feeble efforts he’s whipped up to show he’s still going, it looks as though Fatboy Slim’s going to have to try a lot harder than if he’s going to salvage his career. (EMI)