Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Still a 'Love Fool'
(Disclaimer!!!!: This is a write about GOOD music...so u guys that thought "Dangerously In Love" by Beyonce was album of the decade, yall may wanna sit this one out..u may get a nose bleed from reading....)
I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting in the living room of my great-grandmothers house (nanna as we all affectionately call her) and skimming through the channels on tv looking for something to watch. Once I heard a melodic piano I was compelled to put the remote down and enjoy the visual and sonic masterpiece that was coming from the television. Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity" from the bands third album Travelling Without Moving. The song went on to become a break out success for the group, earning them 4 MTV moon man, including one for Video of the year, and a Grammy award soon followed. The group is my favorite of all time and initially caused me to broaden my musical horizon outside of the R&B and Hip-Hop I was exposed to at the time.
Jamiroquai is commonly mistaken as being a solo artist rather than a group consisting of multiple members, that have changed like musical chairs frequently since the conception of the band back in the early 90's. Jay Kay, the lead vocalist, face and writer for the band has always been such a persona and figure in the funk world, hes commonly looked at AS Jamiroquai and has always been pushed to the forefront when it came to the videos and the overall image of the group (for those of you still scratching your heads, think...Sade...sorta). While I'm not intending for this post to be a history lesson on Jamiroquai, I do want to travel down a funk-memory lane and share with you my Top 3 albums from the groups discography (they have 6 studio albums all together) and I'm touching on some memorable tracks from each of my top albums. I hope jogging your memory on such an amazing band will make you break out their old albums, or better yet...purchase them, if you haven't, since they all have the potential to be the perfect soundtrack of anyones summer.
To make it easier for you all, every track I'll mention you can listen and/or watch the video for by simply clicking on the title...see, I got u ;-)
3. Travelling Without Moving
The spot for my 3rd favorite Jamiroquai album became a VERY tight race between 2 albums, Traveling without Moving (1996) and The Return of the Space Cowboy (1994). While I do believe that ROTSC was more so of an album lovers album, meaning every track flowed properly, the music was great and sequencing was completely up to par, I personally had to give the slight edge to TWM for memorable and classic material.
This album, the groups third, was a breakout success and put them on the radars of many, but with all that ASIDE and focusing exclusively on the material and music of the album, it was amazing. Ofcourse, "Virtual Insanity" must be mentioned if not for all the hype that was around then for the genius that is the song. One of the strongest songs on the album can arguably be "Everyday," the chill groove that sounds like it could have been apart of their first album Emergency On Planet Earth (1993). Gems like "Alright" and "Cosmic Girl" make up the albums first half and set the tone for the upbeat feel good vibe of the entire record, the tender and mellow piano and string masterpiece "Spend a Lifetime,"proved that this album was more than just a "worthy for the singles and nothing more" type of composition that many have painted it out to be and is considered the albums brightest moments.
Coming after the A Funk Odyssey(2001) album, which was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, Jamiroquai made a conscious decision to coexist the sounds of their early stuff with the genius work that appeared on AFO and on Synkronized (1999). When Soul inspired vocals, Funk influenced sound and Disco Tinged breakdowns all came together effortlessly, the result was their 2005 album Dynamite. It managed to be a full circle display of their career, grabbing sounds from each era, and came off completely diverse
Coming to a happy and beautiful Medium, the band eases the hearts of those shaken from AFO by giving them "Starchild," which is reminiscent of their older work, "When You Gonna Learn" to be exact, from the bands first album Emergency On Planet Earth (1993). The album's apex "Seven Days in Sunny June" teeters between the urban vintage sounds of motown and the smooth, transcending feel that the group has been known for and is the quintessensial summer song. "(Dont) Give Hate A Chance" packs a punch on both the speakers and in lyrical content.
1. A Funk Odyssey
Slightly less organic than their previous albums, this one is all about the fun and growth of the band, without coming off all over the place and slightly schizophrenic like on the 1999 Synkronized (although like the rest of you, I LOVED me some "Canned Heat").
The guys took the highlights from that album and evolved, polished and honed in on exactly what they intended to do initially; the result, a soul stirring, head nodding journey in funk and disco that may have been so advanced in its retro sound that it flew over many peoples heads. This is my favorite album by the guys because its simply FUN, fresh and at the time, and arguably still to this day, it was nothing else like it.
The album forced you to think outside of your narrow box of genres and preconceived notions of what a certain sound should be and made you simply love it or hate it, I chose to love it. The album was an almost natural progression that you expect from artist after years of doing a certain something. From the sensually seductive grooves of "Corner of the Earth" to the mellow jam "Little L," both perfectly contrasting to the funktastic album opener "Feel So Good," These tracks all make this album memorable and one of my favorites of all times. One of my favorite Jamiroquai songs tho is also on this album, "Love Foolosophy."
For those of you who may or may not remember the stylish and chic video for "Love Foolosophy", featuring Heidi Klum providing eye candy, you know i've got you, ENJOY!