Basement Jaxx: No fresh Cuts, Just The Same Ol’ Scars
Scars, the fourth full length album by vintage UK house music duo Felix Burton and Simon Ratcliffe, leads the listener down a familiar and sporadic trail of buoyant breadcrumbs towards destination unknown. Scars‘ journey starts remarkedly fresh, with an ethereal and operatic promise of modern twists upon their trademark upbeat sound. Sadly, it quickly veers off in various confusing directions. The result is dull and at times borderline annoying to this expectant long time fan of the two music makers.
The Basement Jaxx don’t seem to be navigating their own musical vehicle. With the two figure heads seemingly asleep at the wheel, the album’s many featured artists thankfully take control. While lacking in originality, they haphazardly redeem themselves by their innate talent in song collaboration choice. A literal push and pull between what worked and what hopefully will, is audibly tangible to the ear. I imagined the reliance upon modern hit makers comparable to an aging father desperately squeezing himself into his son’s skinny jeans in hopes of appealing to a undiscovered audience. Keep your dad jeans on gentlemen. But it’s not all gone to pot. The saving grace threaded throughout the album is the ability to strip tracks down—creating a sensual experience. On “stay close,” the group allows Lisa KeKaula’s throaty alto to effectively massage their bounce into undulating breath. Vocalists like Kelis, Santigold and Sam Sparro also adequately do their best with the blips and beeps of yesteryear. Yoko Ono coaxes the listener away from an edge the Basement Jaxx threaten to fall from. Their saving grace will inevitably be the remix album that will supplement the lack of sustenance hungry followers require. Basement Jaxx fans will most likely find enough fuel to keep the fire burning but newbie flames won’t stay lit. ~ dimes
A Bonus Track Version of Scars is available now at itunes with 3 additional tracks.
MP3 1: Basement Jaxx – Scars (feat. Kelis, Meleka & Chipmunk)
MP3 2: Basement Jaxx – Stay Close (feat. Lisa Kekaula)
MP3 3: Basement Jaxx – Twerk (feat. Yo Majesty)