JJ72 – JJ72

26 08 2010

Listened: Monday August 9

I never listened to JJ72 much after I bought it. I can’t even remember why I did; the CD might have been really cheap somewhere.

JJ72’s music is very soaring and dramatic, and now that I think of it, it has a little bit of a grungy edge to it. The singer can sing very sweetly, but when he wants to, he can have a very noticeable gravelly edge to his voice. It’s an unusual combination.

I ended up deciding their music is a little too angsty for me. It’s pretty clear how young they were when they made this. It’s music for young people.

Jimmy Cliff – Jimmy Cliff

26 08 2010

Listened: Friday August 6

Finding Jimmy Cliff was one of those random happenstances that makes life worth living. This album was on sale at Tower Records about 5 years ago for cheap and so I thought I’d check it out.

From the opening strains of “Time Will Tell” I absolutely loved it. The music has great rhythm, Jimmy’s voice is beautiful, the backing vocals are tight, and his songs are more literate and erudite than your average reggae songs.

Jimmy’s music and its positive messages have gotten me through many roadblocks in my life. I would describe him as being the polar opposite of Bob Marley. Rather than the Marley political struggle and love songs, Jimmy sings about very personal struggles, self-reliance, and responsibility.

I still haven’t seen The Harder They Come (Jimmy stars in it); I clearly need to bump that up the old Netflix queue.

Kailash Kher – Jhoomo re

26 08 2010

Listened: Friday August 6

I first heard a Kailash Kher song on a CD a friend brought me from India. His song stood out as the best in a collection of “#1 Hits”.

The songs on Jhoomo re are very energetic, catchy, and still contain a lot of traditional Indian instruments, even though they are pop songs. He also has a great voice – he can sing ballads and rapid fire lyrics that are at times almost rapping. This is an autotune-free zone.

Jarvis Cocker – Jarvis

26 08 2010

Listened: Friday August 6

I love what Jarvis is wearing on the cover of Jarvis – it’s pretty much the same as what he was wearing in 100 degree heat at Coachella 2007 when we saw him walking amongst the unwashed masses.

Jarvis the album is definitely stronger than Further Complications. I love singing along to Black Magic at the top of my voice in the car – it’s a song that begs for the raised pumped fist (which needless to say you need to be careful about doing in the car). “You only get to see the light just one time in your life.”

From A To I is a beautiful song musically, but also touches on classic Cocker issues of the meaning of life, where civilization is going, and where one fits in. It might be taking it a bit far, but I would say Jarvis is one of the true philosophical essayists in music at the moment. See also: hidden track Cunts Are Still Running the World.