Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Three-way tie for first
on June 17, 2003
This album is my co-co-favorite album by Jamiroquai, if that makes any sense. If you are interested in buying a Jamiroquai album, I offer here one guy's guide to this very talented artist.
Emergency On Planet Earth: "The 70's Instrumental Album"
This is more like 70's/jazz. Lots of horns. The production and arrangements remind me of listening to a 70's album, too. I played this in front of some of my students one day while I was doing paperwork after school; they remarked that the music was "repetitive, but not really redundant," which made me smile. The opening synth riff on Revolution -- very "analog" and throw-back sounding. I love every song. I don't think that this album has a "beginning" or "early career" sound; it is just a great album to me, period. I felt that way when I first heard it and I feel that way now. Although the spirit of Jamiroquai was probably the same through those first three albums, I can definitely see how people who liked this album may not have liked the successive albums. This album is very heavy on "traditional" musical instruments, whereas the keyboards, though important to the sound, are present mostly as flourishes and solos here and there. I would also like to say that, in my opinion, this is not just a novelty album that has elements of 70's funk thrown in for show. It's almost like this IS a 70's album, and JK really IS channelling Stevie Wonder. Do I recommend this album? Oh yes. Also, I have no quarrel with my friends, almost all of whom can not stand this album for more than 20 minutes. It's just a matter of whether or not you like the 2 minute funk digressions and horn solos. So yes, I am biased, because this is one of my favorite albums of all time, and "Music of the Mind" might be my favorite instrumental of all time!
Return of the Space Cowboy: "The Somewhat Psychedlic, Somewhat Synthy Album."
I like this as much as EOPE (see above). I heard this when it came out in Europe, and it was my introduction to Jamiroquai. Man, I was in France and they must have played the title track every hour, every day on the radio. You'd never find a US station playing 5 minutes of falsetto-laden, spacey, synth funk -- with a false ending -- all day long, that's for sure. The title track is great, and the rest is even better, culminating in the epic "Just Another Story." But every song's a classic. Bottom line: kind of like EOPE, but the songs seem longer and more psychedelic at times. The keyboards are much more prominent. I like this album as much as EOPE. This was not their breakthrough album in the US, but I knew something was afoot when I heard "Mr. Moon" playing on the company-regulated music selections at The Gap one day . . . my goodness, The Gap.
Travelling Without Moving: "More Pop, More Disco, More Styles, Fewer Digressions."
I think this was the last one with the original bassist. This album has one or two songs that I liked, but did not love (e.g., "Virtual Insanity" didn't do much for me.). Otherwise I loved this album to the point where I just scratched up and wore out my first copy in about six months. Jamiroquai made poppy-sounding songs on this album, disco (what else would you call "Cosmic Girl"?), threw in some reggae ("Drifting Along"), and some pretty cool funk ("High Times"). And it all worked. As if those weren't enough, he made one awesome drum-and-bass track (untitled) that left me reaching for the "repeat" button over and over. A couple of songs were sub-Jamiroquai quality IMHO (though still good), but most were just brilliant. Overall, this album had higher highs and lower lows.
The other Jamiroquai albums are good. Some great dancing songs on Synkronized, especially, but with only half of the songs being "excellent," I have to put that one a bit below the first three. (Nonetheless, I challenge anyone to stay seated when "Canned Heat" or "Planet Home" is played!) I have only owned "A Funk Odyssey" for about a month, so I am not in a position to rate it just yet.
Well, hopefully this long-winded survey has not made the members of the Jamiroquai nation too peeved. There's not enough space to write everything that is good about their music, and let's face it . . . a bad song by Jamiroquai is 20X better than what most bands could ever hope to produce. That's it, I'm out.