Rolling Stone (9/18/97, p.102) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...one of the most fun, shamelessly genre-hopping dance albums of the year....a populist, highly danceablemix of '80s hip-hop, house and techno..."
Magnet (11-12/97, p.66) - "...Splicing a vivid cartoon world of squiggly beats and dubby electronics with a virtual truckload of extra-vintage samples, Cook takes the DJ to some fairly extreme locales..."
Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) was the bassist for the Housemartins.
Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) knows a little something about rocking house parties with a variety of textures. As drummer for the very Smiths-like Housemartins and later as producer/mastermind of the club-oriented Beats International crew, he has supplied the soundtrack to lager-swilling soirees of two polar subcultures. BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY is a smooth attempt to attract them both to the same shindig.
Throughout BETTER LIVING, techno and hip-hop beats and a variety of jazz/funk samples are married to a post-modern "rock" feel, utilizing mucho distortion, lots of analog squeals and coming up with a damn warm mix for an "electronic" album. Thus, there are numerous moods to be had throughout--from the reflective ambiance of "Santa Cruz," to the mid-tempo blues/trip-hop stomp of "The Weekend Starts Here," to the out-n-out rockers such as "Going Out of My Head" and "First Down." This rock-minded variety and his ability to turn tracks into distinct songs (quite an accomplishment for a '97 electronic record) make Fatboy seem like a funkier, distant Chemical cousin.