Jamiroquai: Automaton/Cloud 9
Pros:"Cloud 9," the strongest of the two singles, soars with dancey spice, complimentary to Jamiroquai's legacy cuts
Cons:"Automaton" tries too hard to drop Kanye West creative juice and future-electro into the acid jazz/nu-disco band's nu-disco formula
With two new singles, Jamoriquai is back with more virtual, a little less insanity
With two new singles, Jamiroquai is back with more virtual, a little less insanity
Being on the type of creative hiatus that Brit acid jazz band Jamiroquai has been on is borderline cruel. It reminds you of the long periods of time Sade is known for. But it could very well be a part of industry fatigue. Or maybe internal shakeups with the band’s fleet of ever-rotating musicians, with wild child frontman Jay Kay being the one of the only few constants left.
After dropping an appetizing collection Rock Dust Light Star in 2010, Jamiroquai toured a little and did the very few social media updates of past music video shares to keep the public interested. Now the band has dropped two new singles and companion music videos (the first, packaged with a futuristic concept video, showing JayKay’s new neon-glowing claw-like headdress and living in an isolated post-apocalyptic world), all within the heroic span of two weeks. A new album is definitely brewing, and we’re all the grateful beneficiaries of it.
But let’s set the record straight: Jamiroquai is a bit slimmer, scaled back. The lead single of “Automation” is more Daft Punk leaning, a midtempo cyber-executed slow grind that lacks the band’s disco swag or their usual strings ‘n horns add-ons. It’s a mild tease, doing nothing to exhilarate hardcore fans. But “Cloud 9,” the other single, offers a more positive reflex. It outpaces “Automaton” like a dance floor go-getter, while flexing a stronger grade of funk. On the tough side, it’s miles apart from the group’s more prouder moments, like “Emergency on Planet Earth,” “Cosmic Girl,” “Little L” or “Love Foolosophy.” It’s also too short in duration, playing like a safe radio edit, but it’s sorta hard to escape its sneaky ear worm grip. “Only a fool could walk away from me this time,” Jay Kay sings across the breezy chorus, a bubbly throwback reminiscent of the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There.”
The music video for “Cloud 9,” featuring Jay Kay strutting his stuff with a sexy dame in a cabana club setting sporting neon lights in Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony fashion, was just dropped. Check it out below.