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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on July 4, 2005
Jamiroquai, as it stood in 1991, was one of the freshest sounds to come out of the Acid Jazz movement. This record, though uneven at times was overshadowed only by it's ambition. 10 tracks, none under 4:50, and most well over 5 minutes all the while creating a conscious VIBE. That right that was something that the kids were not getting on the radio back in 1991, especially here in America where Hip Hop had finally pierced the brains of record executives as a financial reality. However, for those in search of something just as viable with musicianship to boot, how much did it feel like Christmas Day after just one listen? Yes, in the years since they have had better records, "Space Cowboy" & "Travelling Without Moving", also worse ones "A Funk Odessey", but for what it was worth they have been well worth following just for the music alone. No Jay Kay is no Stevie but who the hell is? If you should choose to listen to this record just listen as a fan of music and in the context of it being 1991 and what was going on musically at that time. Now if you pick up their other CD's you will find that as time passes and the original band starts to splinter that the music also suffers. In particular, when Stuart Zender's bass leaves prior to Synkronized, the band goes to a more Disco influenced direction. This, in my mind, is why Jamiroqual has never had the success stateside that Sony had gambled on back in '90-'91.
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on August 19, 2003
Okay-let me start by saying that Jamiroquai have NEVER made
a bad album but on their debut,Jay K and the band give the listener a jounrey through where funk came from in the jazz rock
stew of "Music Of The Mind","Revolution 93" and "Hooked Up".Not
to mention classic funk such as "When You Gonna Learn",the
dance-funk of the tital track,the Headhunters-like "Whatever It Is,I Just Can't Stop",etc.Love Earth,Wind & Fire?Stevie
Wonder?ANY classic funk at all?Start here and don't stop!
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on October 13, 2003
Return of the Space Cowboy was the first Jamiroquai cd I bought, but Emergency on Planet Earth is the one I will remember forever. Much better and different than anything they did later on, this album plays to your soul and your mind. It is always within grabbing distance to get my mind right when I mistakenly let the world get to me.Funk, soul, and progressive politics and the unforgettable "Blow your mind" which has set the mood at my apt. many a night. Buy and enjoy.
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on May 28, 2011
A well meaning album with forceful intention is easy to categorize as rebellious, but it is not. Most of us grow up becoming what we are told to be, and when we fall short of social expectations, we numb ourselves or give up. This album wakes us up, forces us to move forward whether we like it or not, to fight against peer and social pressure. It is better to free yourself up and discover what you are meant to be here for, than to give up or give in. It challenges us to connect to the music, to let it lift us up to a higher platform, so that we can see the future clearly, and participate in making it better.
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on February 26, 2006
I own all of Jamiroquai's cd's and i think most of them are great. This is absolutely my favorite to listen to straight through. I think the horns are amazing especially on "Hooked Up", and the percussion always ends up pushing the pace in a subtle way. This album just makes me move and I think JK and co. have so much raw energy. Stuart on Bass is sick sick sick straight through. "Revolution 1993" has become my favorite song by Jamiroquai -- love the lyrics, the message, the excitement, the tension/release, its just put together so well. "Music of the Mind" is a great instrumental track and shows off the jazz-rock-funk roots of what became the later disco-enhanced Jamiroquai. Sweet solos too, the keys are great. Also love "Too Young To Die" and "Emergency On Planet Earth". Impressive debut from a band, and it stands as one of my favorite discs.
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on January 16, 2002
now...i'm not just saying this...i own all of their cd's (except synkronized)...and this is the one that i keep coming back to, time after time...tracks 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 are some of their best work....if you like any other jamiroquai albums, you will def. like this one! what kind of fan doesn't have the album that started it all, anyway? check this one out...you will NOT be disappointed!
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on December 19, 2000
The Amazon review is more than a shade off and quite misinformed. This is the definitive Jamiroquai album replete with a utopian vision and funk grooves to boot. No pandering to the pop charts on this issue, just brilliant horns, memorable hooks and straight high octane funk, on the lines of the maiden Brand New Heavies effort.
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on February 11, 2000
I am a huge Stevie Wonder fan and I can say that I have listened to a lot of music in my time, mostly jazz and r&b from the 70s, and when I got a listen to "Emergency On Planet Earth", I was instantly in love. Jamiroquai's music is comparable to the almighty Stevie Wonder in my opinion. Jamiroquai is the best band in the past decade. EOPE is their best album, with my all time fave Jamirouai tune, "Blow Your Mind"-it is simply 'mind blowing' (no pun intended), so smooth and sexy, I really get down to this tune. Music Of The Mind is also an excellent track with beautifully arranged strings (hmmm, I wonder if JK was thinking about Stevie Wonder when he named the tune Music Of The Mind? ). I didn't know that music like this still existed with today's music of mind polluting rap and groups like Backstreet Boys who are considered "revolutionary". Jamiroquai brillantly combines the elements of soul funk r&b with jazz to create a sound unlike any other artist or band today. Keep on jammin'.
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on February 18, 2004
this album is more jazzy. I have really come to love the beats and the bass rifts. Good horns, good singing. Just makes me want to dance. I would call it psycedelic, but this is much tighter
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