Jacknife Lee - The Jacknife Lee Music Album Reviews

 

The Irish modern-rock producer, best known for his work on records by U2, Snow Patrol, and Kasabian, opts for an idiosyncratic electronic melange featuring a surprising roster of guests.

Jacknife Lee’s discography has historically moved in two very different directions. His production credits for acts like U2 and Snow Patrol display a penchant for self-serious adult-contemporary rock; like the nu-metal mashups of Missy Elliott and Eminem that brought him notoriety around the turn of the century, his solo music has aimed for far lower stakes, looping trite lyrics (“I like it/I like it, yeah”; “I really love it and it’s making me money”) over uninspired big beat. On The Jacknife Lee, the Irish producer shows us a third way, taking ideas he had deemed “too odd” for other projects and realizing them with the help of a diverse, international group of artists. The results feel like a release of pent-up energy after years of melancholy modern-rock production.
A world away from his Kasabian and Two Door Cinema Club commissions, The Jacknife Lee trades modern rock for a melange of rap, R&B, alt rock, dance punk, and global pop. Most of Lee’s guests here are far less famous than the artists he typically works with. Ghanaian-Australian singer Genesis Owusu’s voice shape-shifts over rumbling bass on opener “Flutter”; on “Hit the Bell,” Toronto rapper Haviah Mighty punctuates an ethereal melody sung by Merge signee Sneaks. All the songs feel like genuine partnerships in which Lee provides a lavish framework for other artists to excel.

Lee does best when he leaves his comfort zone to create something completely new alongside his guests. Muthoni Drummer Queen commands “Sisa Wabaya,” in which the Kenyan rapper’s bilingual boasting (the title translates as “We are the bad ones” in Swahili) is accentuated by clipped bass and overdriven percussion. “Firewalls,” with Petite Noir, is constantly shifting, trading slow-burning atmospheres for stranger elements—guttural vocal samples, filtered breakbeats. There’s a winning sense of restlessness to these productions, as though Lee were always on the search for a new noise to insert, another genre to reference.

The higher profile the artists, the more predictable (and consequently, weaker) the songs often are. Aloe Blacc feels out of place, and his lovelorn “I Gave You Everything” doesn’t match the innovative qualities of the rest of the album. “Made It Weird” marks swaggering new territory for Open Mike Eagle, but he’s written more compelling anxiety-focused songs before. And a handful of songs are too slick for the mood they’re trying to convey. The defiant lyrics of “I’m Getting Tired” lose some of their power over a backing track—already too similar to Lee’s big-beat solo work—that previously served as Apple keynote background music.

The Jacknife Lee improves in proportion to its risk. Veteran adult-alternative acts don’t often have it in them to be as eccentric as Lee can be here, no matter how ambitious they get. There are fans to please, radio singles to push, Grey’s Anatomy syncs to land. But, guided by his long-standing instinct for combining disparate elements, Lee has found new freedom in letting other voices have the spotlight.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Jacknife Lee - The Jacknife Lee Music Album Reviews Jacknife Lee - The Jacknife Lee Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 Rating:

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