Review: Jack Foley
LEMON Jelly return with perhaps their most ambitious and mainstream
album to date - a wonderful collection of beats, samples and melodies
that prove Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen show no sign of wobbling
The album could be described as a concept given that it is comprised
of samples taken from their extensive record collection - the
'64 to '95 of the title representing the span in years between
the first and last records chosen.
Rather than merely sampling, however, Fred and Nick have taken
just a snippet from the records and fleshed them out with all
the musical styles we have come to expect from the duo.
The result, while less quirky and eccentric than, say, Lost Horizons,
marks an exciting progression for the duo, which takes in everything
from metal, 70s pop and R&B to rock, chill out and dance.
So while there's nothing to rival the sheer unique buzz you got
from first listening to a track such as The Staunton Lick,
from the first album, there's no denying that Lemon Jelly have
managed to retain their own identity, while delivering an album
that fits comfortably inbetween works from major artists such
as The Chemical
Brothers and Nightmares on Wax.
The album highlight is most definitely Make Things Right,
a lush, romantic and completely feel-good effort that features
a tantalising vocal from UK R&B star, Terri Walker (singing
a Monica cover).
Having caught the track live at Somerset
House last year, it's a relief to finally be able to put it
on the CD player whenever the desire arises - and that's quite
often once you're heard it. Comparisons with the style of Nightmares
on Wax and Morcheeba are not far off the mark.
Another guest vocalist also adds something fantastic and new
to the mix - namely, William Shatner.
Yep, the former Captain Kirk lends his beat poet talents to final
track, Go, to create an epic, sweeping, soaring track
that truly brings the album to an uplifting finale (while also
conjuring memories of past track, Rambling Man).
It serves to show the ambitious nature of the album and the heights
which Fred and Nick are continually trying to achieve.
Don't Stop Now, featuring a funky retro beat and a sample
from Waterfall (by Van der Weyde) is sure to become a
live favourite and a dance-friendly track for the Summer, while
The Slow Train, which contains elements of I'm A Train,
is Lemon Jelly at their offbeat best, featuring a delightful barber
Other samples come from the likes of Scottish post-punkers, The
Scars, as well as 70s popsters, Gallagher and Lyle.
What's important, however, is that '64 - '95 maintains that feel-good
and distinctly unique quality that consistently comes from listening
to Lemon Jelly.
That it does so, while also marking a giant leap forward in the
duo's musical odyssey, is testament to the magic of Fred and Nick's
Waste no time in buying what could well be one of the best albums