Here are thoughts on one of the few musicians I’ve continued to listen to for a good portion of my life.
I think it was my first year of high school, 2002-2003, when my sister gave me Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat CD single. It only had two songs on it, Canned Heat and Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing and it didn’t take long for me to put some scratches into this disk since I listened to it nonstop. I bought his album Traveling Without Moving and was hooked.
Treading on the edge of disco but turned up with bass and beats that jump back and forth in different times, Jamiroquai gives me something that most electronic musicians can’t. There’s just enough pop and focus on the melody with the lyrics that it’s not quite electronic music but definitely innovative. It borders on being called groovy and feel-good music, which is probably why I listen to it in the afternoon at work for a pick-me-up or in the car on the way home.
Didgeridoos are evident in tracks throughout all of his albums, giving you notes of Appalachian mountain music and folk. He keeps it creative and is in no way of being like a typical chorus-verse-chorus repetition in modern pop music you hear on the radio.
Jamiroquai earns a space on my music hall of fame considering he is one of the few artists that I have followed for so long. That year also brought Radiohead, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Black Flag and many others into perspective, but that’s a whole other story for another blog.
New to Jamiroquai and need a suggestion? 1996’s Traveling Without Moving defines his mood and rhythm that will be echoed in future albums and I highly recommend it. Chase it with 1999’s Synchronized, an earlier and more rough cut Jamiroquai, and A Funk Odyssey from 2001. Hopefully he will travel to the US soon.
Jamiroquai – Canned Heat (Jazz Café 2006)