Album Review :: Jamiroquai – Rock Dust Light Star

Jamiroquai have been around for 18 years and have produced some dancefloor classics. Now, they are back after a five year break but does ‘Rock Dust Light Star’ live up to any expectations we might have had after their previous albums?

Jamiroquai’s music has rarely fallen outside the “acid-funk” genre that best describes their sound and has generally been a hit across the board with young and old listeners alike. The changing faces of the collaborators have always been fronted by the effervescent Jay Kay and his outlandish hats. It has been argued that Jay Kay is best known for those hats, his love of fast cars and his penchant for famous (or not so) women, however, in terms of his music, there’s no denying there’s some clear songwriting ability, knowledge of how to seduce people with some of the best bass riffs around and some sustainable funk that’s maintained the band’s presence in the music industry for almost 2 decades.

Rock Dust Light Star has echoes of early 80’s disco combined with the synthesisers and technological tricks of today’s electric generation. Jay Kay’s vocal is, as always, up to scratch and the lyrics are (mostly) imaginative and interesting.

The majority of this album, the 7th for Jamiroquai, has a Saturday night pre-drinks vibe with a whiff of a lazy Sunday afternoon; a good album for the weekend. It’s the kind of album that may grace the Radio 2 playlist or an ’easy-listening for the over 30’s’ album but you’ll probably hear a track or two track on Radio 1 or have seen Jay Kay’s (awkward – after insulting the show’s judges) performance of “White Knuckle Ride” on the X Factor. All things considered, Jamiroquai seem to know how to create music for the masses and are understated but seemingly popular, with this album debuting at number 7 in the UK album chart.

After listening to the album a few times, the band have certainly found comfort in the familiar disco-ball funk that we would expect from them, with songs such as ‘White Knuckle Ride’ and ‘All Good In The Hood’ combining funky bass-riffs, falsetto vocals and sultry saxophones but unfortunately, songs such as ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Never Gonna Be Another’, which stray from the usual dance-material and creep into the clichéd-pop category , fall short of the mark.

The opening and end of the album are good, with catchy songs and memorable instrumentals but there is a slight dip in the middle. Jay Kay singing cheesey ballads isn’t something I would expect and for me, doesn’t work, but the typical Jamiroquai funk will make me listen to the album, just not on repeat.

Perhaps it’s time, after 18 years, for the funk-veterans to move over and let new dubstep and electro bands take over the dancefloor? [J]

Thanks to Mercury Music for sending the album for review.

http://jamiroquai.co.uk/

Podcast :: Under The Bridge #11: Bum Tish Skillz

“Is it gay if you have a dream about sucking yourself off, but you don’t cum?” – Ian Critchley

With Ian back from his holidays and a busy week ahead of us, we got around to recording episode 11 of Under The Bridge. This week we were joined by our favorite ex-pat Kris Smith to let you know what was going on in the world of music. Prepare for laughs as we discuss cheese rolling in Portsmouth, Blink-182’s UK tour and Sweeden’s population of cats. Kris tried to talk about John Coltrane, but we talked over him. Shame.

This week our music comes from Frank Turner — ‘St. Christopher Is Coming Home’, ‘I Still Believe’, ‘Try This At Home’, ‘The Ballad Of Me & My Friends’

Go on, have a listen – Under The Bridge #11: Bum Tish Skillz (right click/ctrl + click to download or subscribe on iTunes!)


News

  • Southsea Fest wins ‘Best Event’ in Portsmouth’s The Guide Awards
  • David Lynch to release electro album. Single already released.
  • Laura Marling cancels tonight gig due to snow.
  • Blink-182 add 3 more dates to their UK tour
  • Elton John calls Oasis brothers “silly sods.”
  • System of a down confirmed for Download 2011.
  • ‘Give Peace A Chance’ gets new verse.
  • Jay-Z & Beyonce will make great parents, says her mum.
  • Rival Schools interview and acoustic set on Punktastic.com.
  • Panic at the disco to release their album March 8th 2011.

Outro
Emails

  • Good reception to the video
  • Good reception to the podcast
  • Send your emails to utbcast@gmail.com

Where Can We Find You On The Internet?

Anthony

Ian

Kris

The Podcast

Moon & Back

Housekeeping

Stuff worth mentioning

  • Interview :: Sean from Your First Mistake
  • Going Underground :: Leagues Apart
  • Canada, Eh? :: The Flatliners
  • Brothers In Arms – Famous Siblings In Rock & Roll – Jon Whitelaw
  • Interview :: Andrew Jackson Jihad
  • Album Review :: Buffoon – Familiar Sounds
  • Album Review :: Tinashe – Saved
  • Interview :: Buffoon
  • Interview :: Less Than Jake

Coming Soon

  • Interview – Chuck Ragan
  • Interview – The Menzingers
  • EP Review – Frank Turner – Rock & Roll
  • Video Interview – Jonah Matranga
  • Dicking Around Presents… Jonah Matranga (Again!)
  • Dicking Around Up North/With Frank Turner
  • Interview – Frank Turner
  • Interview – Dive Dive
  • Carolling With Crazy Arm
  • Interview :: Crazy Arm

Finally

  • Rate and review & subscribe to the podcast on iTunes
  • Visit Moon & Back Music
  • Visit Unrated Music
  • Send your emails to – utbcast@gmail.com
  • John Berna’s Words Of Wisdom –

Album Review :: Tinashé – Saved

Tinashé’s debut album, released earlier this year, would best be summarised as a colourful and varied collection of indie-pop tracks, lyrically reflecting the geographical journey from his birthplace in Zimbabwe to locations in the UK and his experiences throughout.

I first saw Tinashé last year when he supported Noisettes at the O2 Academy in Liverpool.  Some supporting acts blend into the background and are muted by mindless chatter from the crowd as they eagerly await the main performer but with Tinashé, I found myself listening intently and making a conscious effort to remember his name and follow his progress long after the gig was over. Not only was he an animated, confident and engaging performer; he showcased a selection of soulful, catchy and upbeat tracks that left me intrigued as to what material, if any, he’d released, what he was working on and his music in general.

Disappointed, after the gig, that I couldn’t find much of his music online, I sat tight and waited for his debut album and what an album he produced…’Saved’ is a triumph of a debut.

Although difficult to compare Tinashé to one specific musician or artist, a cocktail of comparisons may give you an idea of his sound: If you added a cheeky dash of early Hoosiers to a pint of Jack Penate, poured it over ice, slipped in a bit of Bloc Party and added a thick slice of Jamie T to your glass for decoration, you’d get a taste of Tinashé.

Bearing those comparisons in mind, Tinashé’s drawn his sound from a blend of many musical influences, which are hinted at on the album, from artists such as Prince and Michael Jackson, who Tinashé enjoyed as a child, to the story-telling of 90’s RnB artists like the Notorious BIG who intrigued Tinashé whilst growing up in London.  This fusion of classic musicality and great songwriting is what gives ‘Saved’ an edge. It successfully binds traditional concepts like strong guitar riffs, pounding pianos and some strategic strings with an upbeat and captivating vocal performance throughout.

‘Saved’ would easily please pop-lovers and certainly intrigue the indie-folk. There’s elements of hearty RnB lyrics and noughties experimental indie-pop. You could read into every single line of all the songs on the album, or delve into the “About” section on Tinashé’s website (linked below) which will tell you the ins and outs of his varied upbringing and specific occurrences that influenced him but I think it’s best to listen to the album and read into it what you will; apply it to yourself or listen freely to the music without thinking too much. Either way, I guarantee you’ll find yourself nodding along or subconsciously remembering the catchy refrains.

Despite being a well-rounded album, I think the stand-out tracks are: Saved, The Feeling, Good Times, Mr. Presumption & Every Single Day.

It was when thinking about my favourite albums of this year that I listened to ‘Saved’ again and decided to look online to see how it had been received. There was little in the way of reviews or opinions so I figured I would bring some to the table and hopefully invite others to give him a listen. The album was released in early 2010 so this article isn’t really a “Just released!” – “New Album Review!” – “Fantastic New Music!” type of post, more  “Why haven’t we heard a lot more about this guy?!”.

Tinashé is now continuing his journey, gigging in the UK following his debut release. If you get chance to see him, go!

http://www.tinashe.co.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtfYWJFjS_U

Tinashé’s album is also on i-Tunes and Spotify.

[JC]

Going Underground :: Doll & The Kicks

© Emma Stone Photography

“You’ll be hard pressed to find a better live band right now”

Going Underground has tended to be the realm of Mr. Critchley and local punk bands. Not that I have anything against either of them, but I’m here to broaden your musical palette with a band that are bound to have you dancing and singing along in no time…Doll & The Kicks.


Their unique sound and elaborate, high energy, performances have made the Brighton based foursome one of the must see bands of the past few years. Their unique brand of danceable, punk infused, pop has captured the attention of music lovers around the world, now they’re back gracing stages across the UK and Europe until the end of November.

Having missed the majority of their set in Manchester earlier this month, I caught them in Leeds on Monday and was, once again, blown away. I must’ve seen them live five times now, each show better than the last. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better live band right now.

These guys are bound for big things and rightly so. Be sure to catch them on one of the following dates:

Sneaky Pete’s – Edinburgh – Oct. 7th

The Classic Grand – Edinburgh – Oct. 8th

The Flapper – Birmingham – Oct. 9th

Hoxton Bar & Kitchen – London – Oct. 13th

The Kraken Wakes – Portsmouth – Oct. 14th

Louisiana – Bristol – Oct 15th

The band’s new double-A side single ‘Skeletons/The First Time’ was released on September 20th and it’s bloody brilliant! You can order a physical copy for some bonus track goodness, or download it on iTunes. For more songs, dates and to buy t-shirts and whatnot check out their MySpace page. Also be sure to check out Emma Stone’s other photos from the Leeds show here.