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Jamiroquai's debut release came out in 1993 with the album "Emergency On Planet Earth". The album has the UK band, headed by Jay Kay on lead vocals come out with what is a very original thing as they perform a mix of Acid-Jazz and Funk in a time when it had seemingly phased out from the mainstream.
1. "When You Gonna Learn"
To kick the album off you find them blazing through in a track which launches them right into the main ideas of the album as you find them doing a track which brings in the classic eighties Funk grooves and the earlier Jazz (in the form of horns), and this is all topped off with something which shows even further originality with the use of the didgeridoo at sections through it.
2. "Too Young To Die"
Of all the songs on the album, I expect this one to be the one you are most likely to be familiar with. I have to say that I didn't really know it that well, but the hook , in which he scats stands out as something you will remember it by as he shows how likely the people of the world are in order to display what a shame would be should they engage in another large war and take this from them.
3. "Hooked Up"
The beats in this one are initially led by the gentle bells and light percussion, and become progressively complex as the thing advances and you hear things such as trumpets coming into use as it goes along. By the time Jay Kay is in on it, you are just in a hype over the bass grooves and the bongo drumming so you just cannot resist dancing to it. It is a great one, and has them make the most of its fairly compressed duration.
4. "If I Like It, I Do It"
The grooves in this one are just too much as you feel the sounds of the wah-wah guitar bringing out a clear and distinctive late seventies kind of vibe, and it leads to them producing another killer song which really adds to the album as the band perform to their full potential with lots of different style, most notably the use of DJing to show that Hip Hop has gone on to influence this (in a role reversal as Funk was the foundation of Hip Hop music in the seventies and early eighties). It is just eel-good music from them here.
5. "Music Of The Mind"
This one has them going at it for a fair while as you hear this one lasting for over six minutes, and the band making the most out of this time to pull out all that is possible without the use of vocals from Jay Kay. It begins a gentle one before advancing into a breakdown later on and in the segment you hear a lot more of the Jazz side to them coming through and it makes for a great one by them with all these vibes running through it.
6. "Emergency on Planet Earth"
This titular song from the album has them perform a song which despite being based upon the same sort of energetic compositions as you hear at every other point in the album, this one has Jay Kay lead the thing by coming with lyrics which contrast greatly from this as he refers to how the rapid advancement of culture is detrimental to the world as a whole, and so as he is doing, going back to the Golden Ages is the only way to counteract this.
7. "Whatever It Is, I Just Can't Stop"
The way that the percussion, from Nick Van Gelder, is done reminds me of the type of funky stuff which the likes of Parliament and Sly & The Family Stone would have come up with, and the style which would be adopted by the Hip Hop world in their early years and so this was clearly one of the reason why I felt it so much. From this you get Stuart Zender coming up with some retro bass grooves to take you back to the years which they are attempting to recreate as Jay Kay is overcome by the funkiness of it all, and it just forced to be taken over by the force of it all.
8. "Blow Your Mind"
On this album, it came as the third single, and it sees them do a tune which seesm to take influence from the sorts of Funk musicians who were a lot more connected to the Jazz side of things than they were with the Swing elements of it, and I felt that this made for a great one, and a good choice for a single as they just come together to show off even more concerning how they are able to compose the most original things.
9. "Revolution 1993"
This epic jam session from them last over ten minutes, and has them bring out absolutely everything they have to offer with not only the most organic sounds of live instrumentals (which where found in all other parts of the album) but also the use of some synth and electronic percussion to give off a more futuristic vibe than the order ones, and it gives them a chance to do a lot more than they could with any other. Jay Kay's lyrics re as politically-charged as any other part of it, and it suits the fury the production works you up to.
10. "Didgin' Out"
Here they describe the act of playing the didgeridoo at the dn of the album as "Didgin' out", and I have to say that it stands out so much, not for the fact that it uses this instrumental, or that it is fully instrumental, but more for the breaks which are used in it as it takes on the best types of beats you would have heard in Hip Hop at this time.
This should be considered a classic for music of its kind as it was so unexpected as a breakthrough at a time when things were attempting to move forward, and here Jamiroquai not only do this, but do this through the decision to give it a retro late seventies and eighties flare. There isn't a reason not to listen to this as the quality levels are consistent throughout.
Emergency on planet earth is Jamiroquai's debut album, released in 1993. I would of been 8 at the time, but it wasn't until I was 15 I was exposed to this brand of smooth, funky, acid jazz.
The album cover is quite plain, the Jamiroquai symbol is the main focus in black with a white background. The band name is written on the top in a cool text, and underneath in smaller text is the name of the album.
At first glance in a shop you may not be totally drawn to this album based on it's understated album cover, but don't let this put you off as the content of this cd is pure funk at it's best.
1.When You Gonna Learn
You are greeted by some sweet sounding horns, after a few bars your thrust into a phat groove and heart felt meaningful lyrics about the state of the world and enviroment. Jay Kay really gives it some vocally on this album, as you would expect. This song is a brilliant for starters.
2. Too Young To Die
This song is a classic of it's genre. A laid back cool vibe. The trumpet and string lines in this one create a brilliant tension in the music, as does the lyrical content and Kay's awesome vocal lines once again.
This song has some interesting rythmns going on, the use of percussion and stuttered trumpet lines contribute to what can only be described as a lushious pseudo samba, abit different but all the more enjoyable as the song takes you to a rather hooky chorus.
4.If I like it I Do it
Clean, is all I have to say about this song. Every instrument sings out beautifully on the track. The song has an almost carefree air to it in the verses, but becomes alittle sinister in the chorus, never losing it's funky roots though!
5. Music of the mind
This is an interesting track, it's an intrumental that takes on a very meloncholic mood, the song starts slow and then builds up to a crescendo of rythmns like a jazz wall of sound. This track is very very jazzy, and may not be to everybodies taste.
6. Emergency on Planet Earth
The title track, gives you an instant lift as soon as you hear the intro, I love the bass playing in this track. Stuart Zender really lay's into it on this one with his slap playing, leaves you listening in envy, wishing you could of played on this!
7. Whatever it is I just can't stop
I love this one, it's based around a tasty little bass riff with wah wah guitar. This one is more of your classic soul type song. The vocals are exceptional and deffinately not a song to be skipped
8. Blow Your Mind
Another absolute classic on the album. Blow Your mind is another up tempo funky banger! The lyrics are based on love but also showcase Jay Kay's scatting skills, backed by a tight and funky backing track. This is one of my faves of the album for sure
This song is an epic. Over 10 minutes infact. Fast paced again with an excellent base line and uncomprimising lyrics based on making the world a better place to live in. This track has many chapters to it. It doesn't get boring in the slightest even though it is rather long, so don't be put off when you see it's track length in the album notes!
10 Didgin' Out
If there was a track that I would skip on this album it would deffinatley have to be this one Im affraid. The song features a didgeridoo, an instrument that Jay Kay seems to be fascinated with and on later albums,he uses it quite frequently in instrumental tracks.
Even if your not into this kind of acid jazzy, funk soul stuff. Please give this a chance. I was listening to stuff like The Stereophonics and Oasis at the time I sampled this album and Im still getting tons of enjoyment from it now.
For all you musicians too. Please make this a part of your collection you wont regret it. Brilliant musicianship mixed with lyrics which actually have meaning! Has to be a deffinitive album of it's era and genre.
Yes, yes, so I used a corny pun for the title, but isn't that just the way of things these days? Well, whatever, it's time for another Excelle music review, and our good friend with the large headgear is the subject of today's discussion. But before I start, I should like to dedicate my opinion to the lad who got me into this artist in the first place - none other than my best mate Craig (craiggy_boy in some op writing circles). Indeed, he and partner in crime Louise (Squiggles on some sites) lavished much praise on me, so it's the least I can do to be nice to them :) Anyway, enough of the rear-kissing, time to get down to the real business - the music. I bought a fair few Jamiroquai albums just in the last couple of years, partly because the music sounds that little bit different, but mostly because it's got some mean guitar work, and any of you that know me well enough, will know I adore good use of the 6 stringed axe! - The band Jamiroquai were formed in 1992 in London by lead singer Jay Kay (son of jazz singer Karen Kay). They were quickly signed to the hugely influential Acid Jazz label, which has signed some of the greatest acid jazz/dance/acid funk acts of modern times, and released the successful 'When You Gonna Learn' single soon after. It wasn't long before the band were snapped up for a $1.9 million 8 album deal with giant Sony, and the rest, as most clichéd people say, is history. My good pal Craig has always referred to the style of music that Jamiroquai produces as 'Acid Funk', being a little more disco influenced that the dance-based acid jazz, and I have no reason to argue with him! The vocals are something that are unique to Jamiroquai, with Jay Kay's inimitable voice carrying the intelligent and incisive lyrics in his own special way. The music has a fairly unique sound too, with some tracks being more original than others, but all being superb when it com
es down to it. Nice. - The album As is quite evident from the title, Jamiroquai's debut album has a large content about Jay Kay's passion for environmental concerns - he's always been quite bothered about the way the world is going, and while he has quite a reputation for his fast cars and the like, he donates quite a substantial amount to organisations like Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth. The album is populated by tracks of the more poppy variety, as well as more earthy, and you might say ethnic tracks, which are more about a sort of vocal jam than about some sort of music industry pleasing methodology. Both styles are excellent ways of getting the messages across, which, I believe, is what Jay Kay's main aim has been with his music. Anyway, on to the tracks themselves? - When You Gonna Learn (Digeridoo) "Armageddon's come too near, too too near" Here we get what seems to be Jay Kay's favourite instrument in evidence - Rolf Harris mainstay, the digeridoo. There's even a picture of one in the album artwork. I must admit, I can't really be doing with extended 'didging' sessions, so much so that I'd forgotten this wasn't actually an instrumental track until a couple of months ago! This is a classic example of a great Jamiroquai track - brass breaks in the background, tight drums and some lovely guitar and strings. It's an everyone-in track and the instrumental richness is superb. - Too Young To Die "All gone when they drop the bomb, can the politicians reassure? 'Cos here I was presuming that nobody wants a war." This is one of the singles that a lot of people are likely to know, and I love it. Starting up with some lovely strings, before breaking in with some brass. This track has a superb bassline, and really it's this coupled with the vocals that complete the track, although the strings add that certain someth
ing. I'm sitting here listening to it now, and kind of dancing in my seating - 'Too Young To Die' just has one of those rhythms that are too catchy to resist! Superb instrumental section in the middle :) - Hooked Up "Everybody dance to the music" This track actually sounds a bit more like Jamiroquai more recent album material, like something off Synkronized. This track certainly has a much more acid jazz feel than a lot of the other tracks (Brand New Heavies anyone?), and it doesn't suffer for this. This track isn't about the whole 'Save The World' thing like the others, it's just about good music. You can't help but get the feeling that the whole band just jammed along, and then Jay Kay just slapped a few lyrics over the top. No complaints here! - If I Like It, I Do It "Know your place and fit your space, young man you will conform - I didn't hear my soul express those rules when I was born" This is quite a light-hearted and uplifting track, with a bit of a hedonistic theme to it. I love the tight drums and cool guitar work in this one. It has a bit of a 70s feel to it I always think, with a bit of a modern slant on it. The brass breaks round the track off nicely. - Music Of The Mind The first instrumental track on the album, this has quite a natural feel to the start of it, before breaking into a very chilled and gentle brass section. It isn't until about 2 minutes into the song that the track speeds up a little with some top guitar work and heavenly string sections. It's a big long rollercoaster of musical quality, running to six and a half minutes in total. Superb stuff. - Emergency On Planet Earth "If anybody's listening - Emergency on planet Earth" Probably my favourite track on the album, the title track returns to the theme of environmental worries. It has quite some pace to it, and is as catchy as you could hope for. The guit
ar work just rules, lovely strings, and Jay Kay's vocals really make it something. It's very funky, but light and enjoyable with it. I had to stop writing this just to enjoy the track. It's brilliant, believe me! - Whatever It Is, I Just Can't Stop "Have to get up to get down, the remedy is in the sound" I have to say, even though it isn't a bad track, this is my least favourite track on the album. It still sounds great, but I'm not keen on the continuous stream of lyrics approach, with the music as just a backing. The theme is once again about musical enjoyment, and while the sound is great, it's not perfect. - Blow Your Mind "Pleasure, passion, tonight's the night I'm looking for your action" Another single, another superb track. Again, the guitar work excels here, especially within the prominent bassline. It's the brass work that is the real star in this one, although the keyboards are great too. The false ending tends to catch me out quite often, even now, but it adds that little bit more to the track - you're never unhappy when it fades back in! The track is quite obviously about the fairer sex, and Jay Kay certain makes a good job of it! Top notch. - Revolution 1993 "A revolution is the only way we can change change change - yeah" This is a great track, and it's quite different to all the others. It's a call to arms against the evil in the world, and the random and extremely well executed drum work gives a military feel to the song. At 10 minutes, this is the longest track on the album, but it deserves the length it covers. It's the drums and the brass that make this song stand out, and most of the track is dedicated to the instrumental aspect rather than the lyrical side of things. It's a melody with some words, rather than the other way round, and this is the way I like it. - Didgin' Out Another instrumental track,
but this time with the digeridoo as the main instrument, which gets very wearing after a short time listening. Not a good way to finish! - If I Like It, I Listen To It All in all, 'Emergency On Planet Earth' is a very varied and interesting album. The instrument work is top class all the way through, and the whole thing gels together well. Very enjoyable, and certainly a good one to have in the collection.
Let's jump back. Back to a long time ago. It's the 'Revolution 1993', when we were 'Too Young To Die'. Yes, for those who can't remember, I am talking about Jamiroquai's first album: Emergency on Planet Earth. Their funky, jazz funky style with a 90s twist got us all grooving along. From their really old, really jazzy stuff, to their new, pretty drab disco music, although still good, Emergency on Planet Earth seems a great album, very appropriate at the moment. Perfect student music, if I ever heard it. Complaining about our screwed governments (true!) and how things could be better. And just look at Jay K's techni-colour dreamcoat inside the CD cover of Emergency on Planet Earth, to get another idea of what this music is. Jamiroquai have been a really important part of my musical enjoyment. While really going away from their roots (probably not their decision, thanks record companies!) and being described as sell-outs, they are still great whether in their 'super-groovy bangin' choons' sorta way, or in their old Earth-loving ways of Emergency. 01. When You Gonna Learn (Digeridoo) Another digerry-track, that -so- characterise Jamiroquai these day. You just can't stop grooving along to this track, it will take you over. Enjoy it. I did. -a really kick ass track! 02. Too Young To Die -one of the best tracks! A song all about war, and why we shouldn't have it. Too true. A really feel-good track by J and crew, with such a wide variety of tones to sample. It may be old, but great music never dies. This song kicks ass. This is the 90's hippie music, and I am loving it! 'We don't want no war / We're too young to die'. Hey, things haven't been this free since the 60's. A six-minute jamming track. This is when Jamiroquai didn't have to worry about record companies and the other schmucks that run the 'industry'. 03. Hooked Up A sort o
f 'false start' happened on this track, then when it gets in to it, it really starts going. This track rocks, like Too Young To Die rolls along with it's government-kicking message, this sits and rocks along. Not too much I can say about this track. 04. If I Like It, I Do It A slow start with happy pumping sounds and positive lyrics "Cause I'm free to roam 'cause it's my home / You can't stop sweet inclination" and a rebellious streak "The kids want the system breaking down / not higher education". A really good track, of a great album. 05. Music of the Mind A very-Jamiroquai synth sound rolls in, and saxophone gets layered over the top of it. This instrumental track is very laidback and 'kick-out', with bumpy an' nice drum soundings on top. This makes a nice break from the although excellent, sometimes tiring sounds of J K's vocals, and makes a nice half-way through track for the album 06. Emergency on Planet Earth -one of my favourites! From it's synth and electric guitar introductions, through it's spiked lyrics "The kids need education / And the streets are never clean", the title track of Jamiroqaui's '93 album just oozes style and sophistication. An exploration of many problems of the world, racial injustice, the 'third world' and many other issues are also repeated throughout this masterpiece of a track and album. A favourite of the album! 07. Whatever It Is, I Just Can't Stop Another great track from the Jamiroquai guys: expressive, funky and brilliant are understatements. The only problem is this is 'instantly forgettable' and I wouldn't really link it to Emergency on Planet Earth. Some might like it, but it's not me. 08. Blow Your Mind This is my sort of track. A chilled piano track just makes this in to one of them. It's a love/lust/I-wanna-shag-Denise tracks, even though
we are still thinking 1993, before she'd even done one edition of Big Breakfast. No political moanings, no 'lets-have-a-revolution', just pure unadulterated love ramblings with a really funky beat. Bring it on! It's pop music (? maybe) for jazz fans alike. The chorus sounding sax just adds that punch to the track, and the slow mumblings of electric piano add a hint of satisfaction. And the single sax solo is just sexy! 09. Revolution 1993 The penultimate. The climax. The moment of truth is here. The track that everyone talks about. Revolution 1993. That damn seductive bassline, those feel-good lyrics, those so-well-played drums. If Jamiroquai's Emergency on Planet Earth album is a crown, then this (cliche time) is a rather important jewel that sits in the center of it. Those bongos: it's a mindblowing experience. It's so difficult to describe how class this track is, yet listen to it. Just. Enjoy. 10. Didgin' Out An instrumental digeridoo track, with funky drummings and tasty bassline all laid together in to a finale, a send off worthy of a royal member. Maybe not of a British Queen, but in an African or native American culture, this track combines native didgie sounds with funky jazz-funk style bass and drums to create a killer ending track. Rounds of the album nicely. FINAL ADVICE Buy this album. It's sheer political stance is so free and individualistic that nigh on kills politicians, and agrees with my ideas on politics: "The worst thing about politics is politicians." And, yes, you can quote me on that. With this album, you might also like 'On How Life Is' by Macy Gray. Although it doesn't contain this sort of lyrics or political stance, it's funky alternative sound is quite edgy in today's disposable R&B world. Just don't talk about Destiny's Child!
Emergency on Planet Earth is probably the best album I own in my personal collection. Apart from being a jazz freak anyway the powerful lyrical content of this album blows me away. The album comes across as some greenpeace properganda to stop all evil on earth. I have to admit environment issues arent really at the top of my list of passions, but I have to admire the passion and anger that Jamiroquai put across in this album. The music is simply brilliant, and probably one of the most origional acts to come of Britain at the time. The timing of everything in the music is amazing, the mixture of the brass section and conventional instruments (bass,guitar and drums)is excellent, but the thing that holds this unique sound together is the majestic singing of Jay Kay. Especially on this album, he is at his best. The use of digeridoo in some tracks is very interesting, usually sweeping through each track like a shrill wind. Personally, this album has had a powerful effect on my musicianship and I would recommend it to any musician. Even if Jazz/Funk isnt your thing, You can still earn alot from this masterpiece. The thing I love the most about this album is that it hasn't been made to be a commercial success, because of the revolutionary lyrics and non-mainstream music (at the time of release everybody was raving or into dance). Now Jamiroquai are swaying towards commercial success with every album they release. I dont blame them for wanting to make abit of cash, but is selling out the answer. To get a real taste of Jamiroquai, this is the album to buy!
The heavily political, pro-environment lyrics of EoPE make for an unusually meaningful and cohesive album, and without there being any sense of repetition, there is never any doubt that the tracks hang together as one unified work. The long instrumental solos that occur throughout are seen by some as self-indulgent, but to me they are the outcome of a band daring to reveal its jazz/funk roots and they are central to the early Jamiroquai sound (also see my reviews of the other three albums). This goes hand-in-hand with their innovative and unpredictable harmonies, particularly noticeable on “Too Young To Die” – for me, their finest hour. Every song is full of catchy riffs and beats which you will not be able to forget, and they make a point of repeating most of the ideas a lot to ingrain them (e.g. in “Revolution 1993”). That isn’t a criticism, though, because the ideas are invariably strong enough to bear repetition and each track is so different. As far as I am concerned this album was one of the two best, most innovative, albums of the nineties (the other being Nirvana’s “Never Mind”). Now that it can be snapped up for £10 there is really no excuse not to own it – and not one of the many people I have convinced to buy the disc has regretted it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 When You Gonna Learn (Digeridoo)
2 Too Young To Die
3 Hooked Up
4 If I Like It I Do It
5 Music Of The Mind
6 Emergency On Planet Earth
7 Whatever It Is I Just Can't Stop
8 Blow Your Mind
9 Revolution 1993
10 Didgin' Out