CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter / 12/2005
1. Feels Just Like It Should 2. Dynamite 3. Seven Days In Sunny June 4. Electric Mistress
5. Starschild 6. Loveblind 7. Talullah 8. (Don't) Give Hate A Chance 9. World That He Wants
10. Black Devil Car 11. Hot Tequila Brown 12. Time Won't Wait
OVERALL RATING: 10
Label: Sony / Release date: September 20, 2005
I've always been a heterosexual male that has treasured the feeling of a warm, curvaceous female body pressed tight against my flesh. I am married to a woman that I love dearly; a woman that I have made love to for almost 14 years now, with a smile on my face after every session. Why am I sharing such a large, intimate portion of my personal life with you, the reader of a CD review? It's because simply saying that this disc is better than sex would be doing it an injustice. This thing is a melodic multiple orgasm that'll leave a wet spot.
I've been impressed by every release from Jamiroquai. The first few records found the band flexing their muscle in the funk and dance genres, while tipping their hats toward Contemporary Jazz on occasion as well. It has been remaining consistent with melody and keeping the songwriting invigorating that were the biggest challenges that the band had yet to achieve. With their last release, "A Funk Odyssey," they came very close to accomplishing a complete and vital record. "Odyssey" was an exceptional outing that only stumbled occasionally. The fact that this record is perfect does not surprise me one bit. They have been teetering on the edge of greatness for quite some time.
The disc starts out much like its predecessor did with "Feels So Good." This track, "Feels Just Like It Should," has the funk vibe that your grooviest Prince track would have with possibly the greatest production qualities ever recorded. There's vocal layering, keyboard spasms, a big phat bass track, and a whole assortment of other goodies that are all rolled into a perfectly mixed production that's so sharp you could cut the Thanksgiving turkey with it. And as the disc moves on to the title track, it offers even more in the way of production quality.
Throughout the entire album it just keeps getting more and more radiant. This title track is a beautiful throwback to 70's disco, while remaining a legitimate contender for the attention of the latest club sound. The biggest bright spot in all of this is the ability of the band to stay on target with the songwriting. All of these tracks have a tremendous hook. All of these tracks have displays of inconceivable talent. All of these songs are produced perfectly. "Seven Days In Sunny June" gives us a sweet pop/light jazz melody, with a refrain that will have you begging the skies for sunshine. "Electric Mistress" returns the band to their successful funk formula, complete with popping bass line and soulful female backup singer. "Starchild" takes that funk formula even one step further by fusing a disco string sound with a cool jazz airiness. All of the tunes that follow dance down the same paths with a few exceptions, but they all float on without ever losing focus on the songwriting. There is the token ballad on the record ("The World He Wants") that comes flanked by a sonically astounding string arrangement, which makes it more of a dark and sensual piece of art than simply a song. And "Talullah" is a straight forward "cool jazz" tune with sensational horn and vocal arrangements that are made even more illustrious by the production here.
If you have been a fan of this band but feel that they really needed to "turn a corner," well, guess what? They've turned that corner and they're driving themselves right into the land of milk and honey. If your a fan of funk acts like Prince or Cameo but have never heard Jamiroquai, welcome to paradise. This record takes the best qualities of Prince and mixes them with influences that range from Stevie Wonder to Earth, Wind and Fire to Herbie Hancock. This is a blend that Jamiroquai has cooked with before, but not quite with this kind of songwriting prowess. But the most enlightening part of this effort as a whole is the fact that the band took an already successful formula for making great jazz/funk records, and improved upon it to make something more than just great. This damn thing is orgasmic. Even if you don't like this sort of thing, you have to listen to it solely for the production quality; you won't believe your ears. So, lay your body down and get intimate with something explosive "Dynamite."