- 22 Oct 08
Native Hippity Hoppers get wantonly eclectic
The opening ‘The Year Of The Genie’ was put on repeat six times before I even moved on to the rest of the album. Can I call it a classic? I think I will. Despite being described as funk, hip hop, reggae and psychedelic, MJEX are hard to pigeonhole, but they needn’t worry about that as From The Word Go is an exciting, innovative, air-punching, heart-pumping album. Since their last Choice Music Prize-nominated outing, Now This I Have To Hear, they’ve waded through albums by Marvin Gaye, The Clash, The Zombies and Parliament, all good sources for inspiration. The lead single ‘Megaphone Man’ is 2 minutes 42 seconds of sublime pop, which I predict will fill many a dancefloor across this country, followed by one of the best bass lines I’ve heard in ages in ‘Keep The Noise Down’, a song about turning into what you thought you wouldn’t. Other highlights include ‘Jean Is Planning An Escape’, which could easily be a Bond theme and the gospelesque commentary of the state of the world today, ‘Geography’. The pace of the album hardly leaves you time to catch your breath, but Joanne Daly’s beautiful vocal on ‘Amnesia Comes Easily’ is just plain stunning. With so many generic rock bands out there, MJEX create a listening landscape that’s totally different, maybe even challenging at times, but I for one am thankful they’re producing records like this. As they say themselves “We can turn the magic on”, and they have.