It’s been seven years since we last heard a release by the acid jazz giants Jamiroquai. Seven years, that’s a long time to build up expectations. To be honest, it’s long enough to build them up, lose them, forget you ever had them and finally reduce the band’s old material to your odd stream in your “modern nostalgia”-playlists on Spotify (not sponsored. duh!).
So, what do we think of their return? Has the age of Jamiroquai passed?
Well, the answer is a definite NO. The first single from the forthcoming comeback album shows a lot of promise.
To be quite honest, you will most probably not love “Automaton” the first time you hear it. After a smooth, mellow 35-second electronic intro reminding us of a classic 80’s sci-fi movie (or, for the younger readers, the intro of “Stranger Things”), Jamiroquai sets it all off with an electronic beat so hard that it definitely scares off ninety-five percent of the first time listeners. It occasionally sounds like they are putting together a bunk bed made entirely out of carbon steel, using only a hammer drill.
I will admit that I too was quite sceptic the time I heard the song. I’m usually not a big fan of this kind of steel-drilling-for-space-mission-beat myself. However, there was another thing with this song that made me come back for seconds. You see, in this song, Jamiroquai delivers the best chorus of any song released so far this year. I won’t try to describe it, just listen for yourself. It quite simply has it all. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and extremely addictive. So addictive that I came back many a time for a taste, which in the end made me not only come to terms with the steel drilling, but actually enjoying those parts as well. Check out the video below!
It has been a long time since Jamiroquai had a single in the top 10 of the UK charts. Will “Automaton” change that?
If you ask me, then no. Its verse is too heavy to endure the patience of a big enough audience. Then again, that’s not the point as far as I’m concerned, and I doubt the band would disagree themselves. Musically, it is a great first single that creates a lot of anticipation for the upcoming album release. Its follow up single, called “Cloud 9”, has further raised expectations with its smooth verse beat. We might be in for a real treat with this album!
So,to summarize, the immediate feeling is that “Automaton” takes some getting used to before you’re hooked. Then again, reflecting over their earlier work, this is a quite common thing with Jamiroquai. You are rarely hooked after the first listen, but given some time it very comes through. Why is that?
Well, one could only guess, but I believe that this is a common attribute amongst the lucky few artists that produces the kind of groundbreaking music that makes a whole genre move forward. Jamiroquai’s music needs to settle in before we can enjoy it, simply because we’re not used to the way it’s crafted yet. “Automaton” is contributing to the forming of a new basis of making music within the genre. This basis is a diamond not yet refined, but thanks to Jamiroquai, we can start the process.
The Music Monkey