Jamiroquai - Dynamite

We may snigger in amusement as Jay Kay's elaborate headgear, stifle a yawn at his car obsession and regard his laddish bar room brawling as pathetic, but in album sales Jamiroquai have notched up twenty million. Their live shows are always a dazzling spectacle and as a band are vastly underrated. It's been three years since Jamiroquai's last album "Funk Odyssey" and in that time he's parted company with bass player Stuart Zander and been hard at work co-producing new album "Dynamite" with Mike Spencer. This meeting of minds has certainly got the creative juices flowing resulting in a fresh, pulsating kaleidoscope of sound.

"Seven Days" has acoustic guitar, piano, drum machine and laid back swirly synths. It's the soundtrack to the summer. Jay Kay's distinctive, unmistakable vocal is as expressive, rich and charismatic as it's always been, but with a new found maturity he's sounding stronger and even more determined. He's still got da funk and a skinny white boy consumed with the love of soul music can only be applauded and admired in equal measures. It may be even more American sounding than Uncle Sam's recipe for Momma's sweet apple pie, but it's so damn contagiously catchy that you can only submit to it's sublime, astonishing beauty.

"Talulah" is much more jazzy with welcome bursts of saxophone, flutes, strings and the familiar sound of funky bass. This is a love song, a Jamiroquai style ballad with an almighty arrangement. It just stops being mushy and sentimental though. Lyrically it's autobiographical with Jay Kay begging his lover to "stop that plane, turn it around". His lyrics are weak and cliché ridden, but the female backing vocals and passionate feeling more than compensate.

"Black Devil Care" is funkier than ever with a boundless supply of lyrics crammed into this live sounding track with heavy guitars and a Lenny Kravitz type rock chorus. It fits in a lot of varying styles rooted in the 70s, but with modern technological advances made in the studio. The line "she's just a love machine" is a little predictable and Kay's Stevie Wonder influence is hard to ignore, but at least he gets to sing about his two favourite subjects: sex and cars.

"Time Won't Wait" has that Earth Wind and Fire energy to it with old school synths, great percussion and some brilliantly talented musicians wonderfully realized in the final track of the album.

Lyrically he will not give Chris Martin any sleepless nights, but his grasp of arranging, performing, producing and his passion for music is genuinely uplifting

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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