This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Woozy disco samples, greasy blaxploitation grooves, sweetly caressing strings, wah-wah guitars, howling sirens and streetcorner samples, snappy beatboxes, finger-funking bass licks, world-beat percussion, Cuban salsa piano chords, even vocals by Curtis Mayfield. And then there’s the second track.
Yes, you could describe this long-awaited sophomore album from whimsical Montreal electro-pop collective Bran Van 3000 as eclectic. Or freewheeling. Or quirky, playful, giddy, exuberant and about 100 other adjectives. How about these three: Bloody. Freaking. Marvellous. Musical mastermind James Di Salvio pulls out all the stops on this 17-song party-mix masterpiece, gleefully combining styles and sounds (beatboxes and flamenco guitars! steel drums and video game effects!) like a toddler bogarting all the fingerpaints in the pantry. He also pulls out his Rolodex, enlisting a VIP roster of guests — producers Ric Ocasek and Beastie Boy Mike D, rapper Big Daddy Kane, electronicians Momus and Dimitri From Paris, and even the late great Mayfield — to voice his loopy tales of muppet sex, endless shopping and mackadocious magnificence. The full, mind-blowing effect is guaranteed to leave you in the same state as the title of that opening track — Astounded.