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Return To Form from last electro band standing
Valerie Flynn, 30 Sep 2009
Of all the electro/house DJs who stormed the top of the pop charts in the late-90s and early-2000s, Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe are pretty much the last men standing. As they release their fifth studio album, you can’t help noticing that we haven’t heard from Faithless, Chemical Brothers, Underworld and the rest in quite a while.
Following in the tradition of Kish Kash, this latest album is stuffed with high-profile collaborators. It’s an astute decision: getting the new coolest kids in school to hang out with them (Santogold, Sam Sparro and Yo Majesty are all present and correct), the Jaxx have neatly avoided becoming sad caricatures of their former selves.
That said, the bubble-gum house of yore is well-represented, in particular on blanket-airplay single ‘Raindrops’ and on ‘Feelings Gone’, which features Sam Sparro’s vocals. There’s a decent helping of cheese in ‘Twerk’, which will recommend itself to Irish dancefloors with its reference to Michael Sembello’s ‘Maniac’.
The slightly less chart-orienated tracks are probably the strongest here. In particular, Santogold’s collaboration, the dancey, ska-influenced ‘Saga’, is brilliant – but then, no surprise there.
The truly atrocious, six minute-long ‘Day of the Sunflowers’ with Yoko Ono, is a major low point. You’ve probably never wondered what Yoko Ono sounds like having sex, but you’ll find out anyway. Very upsetting.
If you’re looking for the almost frighteningly catchy singles that made Basement Jaxx into household names, buy their Best Of. There’s nothing here to quite match ‘Red Alert’ or ‘Romeo’. That’s not to say Scars isn’t a decent record. Here’s hoping they stick around for a few more years before riding off into the Ibiza sunset to live on ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ royalties.