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Jacknife Lee - Jacknife Lee

Jacknife Lee

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

AT A TIME when producers seem to be coming into their own (Timbaland, Pharrell Williams etc), it’s only fair that one of indie-rock’s top names should get in on the act.

In truth, the eponymous album from Jacknife Lee is actually his fourth studio offering. But given his newfound prominence as producer of choice for acts like Editors, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party and Kasabian, the time seems just about perfect for listeners to find out what he can do in solo form.

The result is a surprisingly good collection of indie-rock records with a distinctly dancefloor vibe. Take tracks like the impossibly infectious I Love The Useless, a throwaway delight that blends snappy synths with some brisk, Snow Patrol-style guitar licks and lazy-cool lyrics like “I’d like to thank the Academy, and God and my friends and everybody at the agency, something’s odd about the circumstances of my nudity”.

It’s a rare upbeat offering, though, as many of the tracks chart darker, edgier territory. The riff-tastic Making Me Money, for instance, is a scuzzy, hard-rocker that finds Jacknife Lee’s vocals suitably warped and just about being heard over the pile-driving riffs.

I Like It. Yeah contains a strong dance-rock pulse that’s foot-tappingly good (complete with the same funky zest and vocal of an upbeat Beck record), and the trick is repeated to similarly inspiring effect on Bands, which smacks of bad attitude and even badder modern trends (“I like to party but I can’t stand the music” and “fuck this, we could die in a minute”).

The only disappointment is that Jacknife Lee does tend to run out of steam towards the end, with Monkey In The Meat and The Academy emerging as almost carbon copies of the sounds we’re already heard on the album.

But it’s still worth owning and when he sings “I feel incredible, unstoppable” on final track The Academy, you only have to look at the list of people lining up to work with him to realise why.

Editor’s note: For all those who’ve been getting into the world of U-Myx, Jacknife Lee is also offering a U-Myx version of the track Making Me Money. It allows to make your own mix of the track, save to your computer, upload to a Jacknife Lee microsite, and even make your own ringtone. Click here

Download picks: I Like It. Yeah, Making Me Money, I Love The Useless, Bands

Track listing:

  1. Fear Of Nothing
  2. I Like It. Yeah
  3. Making Me Money
  4. I Love The Useless
  5. I Cut Your Hair
  6. Run Me Over
  7. Bands
  8. What You Want
  9. Monkey In The Meat
  10. The Academy