Brighton Patrol Authority is Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook’s new project, and a welcome change of pace for the big beat pioneer who found himself woefully out of ideas and direction on his last album, the critical and commercial disappointment Palookaville.
The BPA finds Norman Cook collaborating with a dozen or so other artists of drastically different genres, with almost unequivocally great results. There are no weak spots here. Whether it’s the strange Jamaican dub of “Spade” with Martha Wainright, the swaggering rocker “He’s Frank (Slight Return)” featuring Iggy Pop or the Britpop retrospective “Should I Stay Or Should I Blow” with DJ Ashley Beedle, Cook and company are on fire throughout all of “Bigger Boat.” It all culminates with the future classic “Toe Jam,” which features David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. It’s a strange combination of jazz, funk, and Fatboy Slim’s classic big beat sound that’s united by David Byrne’s one-of-a-kind voice and dry, lyrics. It creates the same kind of giddy, happy feeling in the listener that Fatboy Slim did all those years ago with “The Rockafeller Skank.” The BPA is probably just a one-off project, but after delivering something as solid as “Bigger Boat,” they’re welcome to stick around a little longer.
File under: Fatboy Slim, Propellerheads, Groove Armada