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Though noting it wasn't as "adventurous" of a release as Wah Wah is, the band made a record "whose songs are often times spacious and funky at the same time. with Jools Holland later that day, [29] and performed "Falling Down" and "Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)". Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)" premiered on BBC Radio 1 on 18 May 2001; the band appeared on Later.

Playlouder's Sarah Bee considered it a "more low-key" affair that was "less brash" than Millionaires. Though the band had planned to use a different producer for the main sessions, [3] Eno and guitarist/violinist Saul Davies were enlisted to produce most of the recordings.English Beefcake" stars a man who ends relationships, while being hesitant in causing pain as a result of them. Vocalist Tim Booth left the band after their December UK tour; the final show of which was released as the Getting Away with It. On 29 October, Booth announced he would be leaving the band after their current tour engagements, with the band aiming to continue recording. He edited the track; after giving Booth a copy, he re-did the vocal take, resulting in the final version. Senorita" is about a guy that falls in love with a dangerous woman, and is followed by the disco song "Gaudi".

He expanded: "It's their tightest, freshest, most contemporary batch of songs, weatherproofed to stand the test of time. Inspired by playing the new songs live, the band decided to gather in a circle and record live-in-the-studio [8] at Ridge Farm Studios in Capel, Surrey with engineer Gary Langan. The Shining", "Senorita", "Gaudi", "What Is It Good For" and "Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)" were recorded at House in the Woods in Bletchingley.On 6 September, the band announced their departure from Mercury [36] after completing their six-album contract, though they planned to release a compilation and reissue their back catalogue in the future through the label. Scratchcard" and "I Thought You Were", outtakes from the album's sessions, were included on the career-spanning box set The Gathering Sound (2012), alongside the music video for "Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)". Fine" is a percussion-led song that is followed by "Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)", a slow-building indie rock track with a psychedelic bridge section. He added that the album had an underlying theme of distaste for "habits, addictions, [and] impulses that we can't control.

Throughout July and September, the band performed at the T in the Park, Guildford Live, City in the Park, [30] Witnness, [35] Benicàssim, and Annual Youth Music festivals, across the UK, Spain and Portugal. The remainder of the tracks were credited to different producers: "Falling Down" by Eno and KK; "The Shining", "Give It Away" and "Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)" by James and Eno; "Gaudi" by James and Baynton-Power; "What Is It Good For" by James; "Fine" by James, Eno and KK; and "Alaskan Pipeline" by James. In March 2000, the band revealed they had been writing new material and planned to record later in the year, with the aim of releasing an album in January 2001. They had written over 30 tracks for inclusion on their next record; on the opening night, the band played seven of these new songs. Andrew Paine of NME considered it the "best James record in a long while and there are some near-inspirational moments.On 19 June, Dotmusic revealed the album's artwork, which is a computer-generated image that merged all of the members' faces. This is about finding a way to represent our collective spirit,” says James frontman Tim Booth, discussing the band’s curious new figurehead.

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