Ever since I bought Hubby Boo a Greatest Hits Music Videos CD of probably my most favourite ever popstars Jamiroquai, my daughters have been crushing on lead singer Jay like crazy.
They watched the music videos till the CD got too scratched to function. Then Dada bought the latest (and last instalment of their 8-album deal with Sony) and we have been listening to it every single day in the car save for the few days when the girls brought it into the house to dance to.
Baby One has picked up on his skaterboy dance style and struts her already angular body to the syncopated beats - Mr Jay Kay better watch it, Miss Kay Is In Da House!
Anyway, she likes to call him Jerry MacWhy. I don't think she has quite understood that Jamiroquai is not Jay Kay's name but the band's. Well, she's his number one fan so it doesn't matter.
And I am not too proud to say that I liked Jamiroquai before he was even cool in Australia! Trying to spread the word about Acid Jazz Funk Pop/Rock was difficult during the Jangle Rock Oz era. This was before the Chilli Peppers brought funk to rock and made anything other than the four chord guitar rock progression cool.
I managed to convert some of my friends to Jamiroquai if only because of his earth-message type lyrics (yes, I hung out with a couple of hippie types). They didnt seem as keen on the music as they were on the American post-grunge lovey soppy music scene ( think Lemonheads).
I can safely say J's latest album "Dynamite" is a fantastic album to have. It took a while for the non-released-singles songs on the album to grow on me, so if you're not a fan of funk jazz it might take you longer. However, once you open up to it all, the music really is a beautiful thing.
You may be familiar with the singles: "Feels Just Like It Should" with its stuttering ignition intro leading into the funky growling guitar underlay to his smooth vocals honeying over the experience of losing oneself to one's hedonistic urges. (Does it look like I'm selling this album? I hope so!) "Seven Days In Sunny June" about the abrupt end of a short romance after a week of rosy summer days seen through the fog of romantic assumption. And my favourite of the released singles, "(Don't) Give Hate A Chance", a plaintive voice in the midst of the screaming match which is our world - certain and rational, but unheard.
The rest of the album threw up some clear favourites, one being "Black Devil Car", beginning with a muted carnivalesque, Moog-y sounding guitar, which quickly transforms into a rocking paean to wild love machines with great curves (is it the car or is it the girl?); "Tallulah", Baby One's personal choice, a smoky-jazz, side-to-side shuffle with finger snaps kinda groove about the emptiness left behind by the girl who left - look out for the soulful bridge to get you singing to yourself in the car at the traffic light. And finally, my personal absolute favourite, "Starchild", a revisit of the idea of an earth-saviour, somehwere in the world, who will finally one day answer the inner call to stand up and fight for the earth. All horoscopey, new agey and yet so mixed up wth the funk philosophy. The bridge is like the most optimistic piece of music that would get you standing up and holding your hands in the air in a let's-all-unite-in-dance-to-save-the-world kinda way.
I've often found myself singing at the top of my voice and funky-dancing in the driver's seat, imagining I am in my own music video, to this particular song. It's very entertaining for little kids in the other cars. Most of them don't seem to want to alert their parents to the raving (no pun inteded) lunatic in the next car.
Check out Jerry, he's worth it.