7/2/17 – Jamiroquai “Automaton” (2017)

After the insanity of yesterday, I decided to turn it around to the opposite end of the spectrum. Automaton is the latest album from English Funk/Disco/Pop group Jamiroquai, and their first one in 7 years. This was my introduction to the group though, and it was a pleasant one. If there’s one word for Automaton, it’s “bass”. Through and through, this album’s backbone is the silky smooth nearly nonstop bass lines – provided by bassist Paul Turner as well as Matthew Johnson’s synths. Jay Kay is the singer and front man of Jamiroquai, and he does a fantastic job guiding the listener through the Disco/Funk fusion. Might be a poor comparison, but for those who haven’t heard this band, he sings similarly to Justin Timberlake.

Automaton starts off strong, and with a tongue in cheek reference to Taylor Swift – Shake It On. This is a purely fun Disco jam, complete with synth strings, and probably as Disco as they get on this album. I love the bass especially on this track, and the chorus is very chantable with the line “gonna be a freak tonight!”. The title track Automaton might be my favorite on the album, and it’s quite unlike the rest of the tracks on the album. It blasts out discordant synths that somehow make sense in some alien dance club. I also like songs written from the perspective of robots, just a small thing that makes me smile. Cloud 9 is a terrific anthem to start your night out, forgetting about that guy or girl who ditched you, and “Only a fool could walk away from me this time”.  Hot Property is another highlight, with another catchy chorus and danceable groove.

Unfortunately the second half of the album isn’t as strong as the opening. It could be that the music is just too shallow to keep my attention, or it’s just not my taste. They chill things out and the songs start blurring together, and they don’t vary any of the elements to keep things spicy. Obviously this is a dance album, and not meant to be deeply analyzed or probably even listened to in full every time, so I can’t damn it that badly. It’s still a fun album to check out, and if you’re in need of something current to dance along to, this is it.