Jamiroquai - Automaton
When people think of Jamiroquai their mind goes straight to 1997, big hats and "Virtual Insanity". Well the big hats are still technically there but since then Jamiroquai have released stellar project after stellar project each with a distinct spirit of their own. It was acid jazz, future funk whatever name you wanted to put on their music it was wild and for the more adventurous absolutely amazing. This new record Automaton kicks in the fucking doors of the disco, turns on the LED hats and sends the party to 2069. From moment one the disco vibes are extremely strong taking the band in a way back to their roots during the early days of House Music coming to England. The thumping pulse track to track is relentless coupled with sounds that sound like they are coming straight out of a hard drive. Jamiroquai are almost able to sound organic in their non-organicness, which is simply mind blowing. The seven year break between their last album and Automaton feels like the blink of an eye because the band simply refuses to be constrained by absolutely anything. Their ability to unite the past and the future is something very few bands have the ability to do. The bassline on "Hot Property" is so funky and the groove so deep that you could hear this track 30 years in past of 30 in the future and still be just as blown away. You would think this means that everything has to be funk forward and a bit aggressive but even the sweeter songs like "Something About You" and "Cloud 9" shine brightly.
The one thing you really get on this album is just how much fun Jamiroquai are having with this music. "Nights Out in the Jungle" has animal noises and other ambient sounds all on top of this very tropical disco beat. Most band would not have to audacity to make a song like that nor the ability to deliver it without any cringe what so ever. They buy in to what they are doing and pull you right alone with them. "Dr. Buzz" the longest song on the record at over six minutes is also one of the most varied. Different percussion comes pounding in, a spacey flight on the stars happens all wrapped up in an idea of the drugs Dr. Buzz gives us to take us on these journeys. "Vitamin" feels like the career summation track for Jamiroquai and shines as bright as anything they have done to date. It has tons of funk, tons of of disco and a jazz sensibility that so few people can replicate. That is one thing you are really left with when you finish this album, there is no other band out there who could actually pull a record like this off except Jamiroquai. The time may be growing exponentially between their records but if they continue to put out savagery like this, it may very well be worth the wait.
9.0 out of 10