Inessential but infectious comeback by big beat bossman

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Fatboy Slim – Palookaville

Norman Cook may represent the idiot-grinning soundtrack of choice for naff advertising execs, but there is still something life-affirming about the bounce and brashness of the Fatboy’s fourth album?especially after the overly manicured maturity of Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars four years ago. Having co-produced Blur’s Think Tank last year, Cook recruits Damon Albarn for the sleepy-eyed country-soul jam “Put It Back”, while Bootsy Collins guests on a rubbish cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker”. There are more live instruments and vocalists than usual, but otherwise that gloriously stupid clod-hopping mash-up formula remains. Bubblegum for the ears? Sure, that’s pop music.