Saturday, April 01, 2017

Album Review: "Automaton" - Jamiroquai

Time flies so fast.  Can Jamiroquai really have been around for 25 years????  Yes, it's true.  But regardless of the changes in music trends and how music is consumed, the indisputable fact is that musical talent will prevail.

Jay Kay and his funky band have been any easy target for music critics over the years, yet I have loved their music from day one, and they are to me one of the UK's most underrated bands of the past, well, 25 years.

It's been 7 years since their last album "Rock Dust Light Star", and I thought for a while that it was over, that they would never make any more new music.  So it was a pleasant and long-awaited surprise when "Automaton" (the song, not the album) appeared at the beginning of 2017, with the announcement that an album would follow.

"Automaton" refreshingly doesn't make any concessions to the music of the moment: no dreary acoustic ballads, no tropical house, no landfill EDM...hell no.  Just Jamiroquai sticking to a very successful formula of funky, danceable, accessible pop music which is needed more than ever in these days when the mockery that is the top 20 singles chart is carved up between Ed Zzzzzheeran, Drake, Clean Bandit and the Chainsmokers.  For "the charts" have dramatically changed since the 90s when Jamiroquai were a regular fixture in the top 20.  Now, they won't even get a sniff of the charts in these years of Spotify streaming etc, but does it matter?  For as I said earlier, musical talent will prevail.

Jamiroquai continue to enjoy huge popularity particularly outwith the judgemental confines of the UK music scene - however they also have a massive UK following; over at the iTunes album chart, "Automaton" sits at no.2. this week between the all-conquering Sheeran and Drake.

The outstanding "Cloud 9" the second track which was released from the album, is probably my favourite track, with all the classic Jamiroquai trademarks, whilst "Summer Girl" will obviously soundtrack the (long hot?) summer of 2017.

Regular readers of my blog will be well aware that I don't always like a lot of music on first hearing, but Jamiroquai is an exception - they have such an appealing and effortless musical formula. On first hearings this is a much more accessible album than "Rock Dust Light Star" and certainly their best since the fabulous "Dynamite".

"Automaton" is an outstanding return to form.  Welcome back Jamiroquai, you have been much missed.  And you still kick ass.

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