03 October 2006

JURASSIC 5 - Feedback - 2006 - Vinyl album review

JURASSIC 5 - Feedback - 2006 - Album review
HIGHLIGHTS: Back 4 U / Gotta Understand / Red Hot
SOUNDBITE: But now I kind of see what he was talking about/ You can't live in somebody' house and start airing it out/ You got to be your own man and handle your biz/ Later on you can tell 'em what time it is

Feedback? Here's some f*cking feedback - how about releasing the vinyl when the CD and the download come out! Oh who am I kidding? Maybe as vinyl sales are so specialist, buyers should pay a premium and then record companies could release all formats at the same time. Oh wait. Hang on - this was three quid more than the cd and it was still two months late... All that aside - it can't have been an easy time for J5 recently. Cut Chemist has left, and the 'backpack backlash' is in full effect. So what does a band do? Well - on their fourth full-lengther J5 were obviously looking to change the 'sounds like Native Tongues' flavour a little and have diversified considerably. You can still get original flavour Jurassic Five on opener 'Back 4 U' and 'Red Hot' (comes with a funky Dap Kings topping), but the menu also includes a range of other flavours including 'Mantronix' Five ('Radio') 'Sugarhill' Five ('In the House') and 'Black Eyed' Five - the uncomfortably poppy 'Brown Girl (Suga Plum)'. Maybe that's a little unfair - they are adding some J5 magic rather than just pastiching these other styles, the production's solid (Nu-Mark doesn't need Cut Chemist's help there) and the lyricising's as tight as ever. One atypical Jurassic track that works really well is 'Gotta Understand' which chops up a Curtis Mayfield sample and ends up making him sound like Prince. 'Canto de Ossanha' is a very Cut Chemist-like latin instrumental and 'We Got to Make it Right Now' a summery track that has had US critics up in arms because it features - gasp - The Dave Matthews band (who, obviously have a hideous MOR reputation stateside) - as if J5 didn't already do a track with Nelly Furtado last album (and that was before her recent RnB makeover - when she was even less cool). I was skeptical about 'Feedback' at first. People have moaned that it's completely different in style (not true of all tracks), that it's too poppy (ditto) and that the band has suffered from the loss of Cut Chemist (which seriously underrates Nu-Mark - and in any case CC's technically polished album is so dull-as-f*ck - I didn't bother buying it). 'Feedback' has grown on me - and in any case it's worth remembering that if the band had made 'Quality Control' part 3 you can guarantee the complainers would have said - 'J5 are so boring all their albums sound the same'.

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