So, I’m sure you’re used to my Discography Reviews, since it has become the standard on this Impromptu Artist Appreciation Month. And you might ask WHY I’m not doing that for Jamiroquai on #JAMIROQUAIDAY ? Well here’s the answer. Yes I do love Jamiroquai, and I do actually have all of their albums, but without being too disrespectful to the group I have to admit that their albums have a same-ness to them that makes it hard to really write about. So I decided to switch it up and just list my Top 5 Favorite Albums by the band and talk about their individual strengths , which should make for a much better post! Enjoy!
5. “Emergency on Planet Earth”
The debut album showed where Jamiroquai was coming from, what their influences were and what they wanted to accomplish with their lyrics and message. We find the band in a very laid-back zone on this album, as the majority is very relaxing and chill. The socio-political angle is felt more on this album than any of their follow ups as they sing about several world issues from poverty to the environment, which gets a little heavy handed at times but luckily the jazzy soulful grooves help this album flow well. Not perfect, but a great (if a little unassuming) start for the band.
Grade: C + Best: Too Young to Die, When You Gonna Learn, Blow Your Mind
This 4th album is just slightly odd, and I don’t really know why. It’s definitely more upbeat than any album before. It has an overall feel of Fun and high tempos and just good time lyrics. There’s a great number of good songs on here as well, but something about it feels a little uninspired and thoughtless. I don’t know, I haven’t listened to the album in a while but it just doesn’t feel like the same breezy and soulful Jamiroquai. Still this album is a decent listen if you want to dance.
Grade: B – Best: Butterfly, Falling, Supersonic
3. “The Return of the Space Cowboy”
The breakthrough album with that breakthrough single shows the bands strengths in producing soulful throwback records perfect for a hipster lounge at Happy Hour. So many great tracks come from this outing, which at the time was still an example of the group finding their way musically. The album experiments with different things, but surprisingly they manage to keep the album cohesive while the material seems to jump all over the place. It’s a great starter album for the group for sure if you want to know really where they are coming from and what they want to say.
Grade: B – Best: Space Cowboy, Morning Glory, Half the Man
2. “A Funk Odyssey”
Jamiroquai’s 5th album focuses on Disco and Electronica in a delicious mix of the two dance-driven genres. And while their discography does have an awful lot of dance stuff, this album feels a lot more structured and intricate than before, and it shows the band venturing a little bit out of their comfort zone using more electronic techniques with a winning result. It’s definitely a fun album, but there is a sense of darkness mixed in and overall it’s a enjoyable album.
Grade: B Best: Little L, You Give Me Something, Twenty Zero One
1. “Traveling Without Moving”
And here we have my #1 Favorite album by the group. This album was really their US breakthrough thanks to the song (and mostly the video) for hit single “Virtual Insanity”. That song is a good indication of what you’ll get on this third album, the song is breezy and fun and catchy but it has that underlying message of social decay (which is especially fitting in today’s social media world). The entire album goes from love songs to social songs, but the whole album flows so incredibly well you might not even notice. This album houses a lot of Jamiroquai’s best songs, and the album is the best indication of WHO Jamiroquai are.
Grade: A – Best: Virtual Insanity, Spend a Lifetime, Alright