Singles, The - Basement Jaxx

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Singles, The - Basement Jaxx

1 CD(s) - UK House - Label: XL - Distributor: PIAS UK/Sony DADC - Released: 21/03/2005 - 634904018726

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Review of "Singles, The - Basement Jaxx"

published 28/03/2005 | coolcam7
Member since : 27/09/2003
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Excellent
Pro a good mix of top tunes
Cons they left out a couple of good tracks
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
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Lyrics

"THE BEST OF THE JAXX"

Basement Jaxx quietly slipped onto the music scene nearly ten years ago and since then we’ve seen their style develop and their popularity increase significantly as they’ve become a more influential group in their field. I haven’t always been a fan and didn’t really get into Basement Jaxx until the more recent mainstream work, but this album is a real gem and judging solely by the quality of the songs it easy to see why the Jaxx are a top choice for many advertisers such as Bacardi and why they leave so many of us arbitrarily running for the dance floor. Since getting into the group I find that after every single they release I’m left thinking that it’s a great tune and looking forward to the next, which can only be a good sign. Every song they release seems to be really unique and their latest album ‘The Singles’ is an eclectic mix of the singles they’ve released reflecting the change in direction their music has taken over the years and, as with many retrospective greatest hits albums, it serves to remind us of just how many great tunes they’ve produced.

From their inception into the music scene Basement Jaxx have been a house act but since their humble beginnings in Brixton they’ve toyed with other styles too, integrating everything from ragga, punk and RnB into their music and it’s only in the past few years that they’re really embraced the typical verse-chorus structure. The album opens with classic Basement Jaxx; ‘Red Alert’, one of my personal favourites this track marks their entrance into the dance scene. It’s a top tune with some great funk basslines as well as the effortless soulful vocals from Blue James. The thing I really love about the opening track is its ability to always get me singing and dancing along as it’s a really feel-good tune.

‘Good Luck’ is a recent popular hit, with sassy vocals from The Bellrays’ Lisa Kekaula allied with a dramatic orchestral swirl from the London Session Orchestra which come together seamlessly to produce a really funky, catchy song. This song is also one of my favourites for a number of reasons; I love Lisa Kekaula’s voice, she hasn’t got a conventionally good singing voice but she has a really gravely quality to her voice that I just love, and boy does she sound great on this track! I guess you’d classify it as a dance track judging by the chorus but listening to the verse there are rock influences too. Overall this song has a great beat and is most definitely one to be turned up loud.

‘Oh My Gosh’ is their latest offering, I don’t think this is up to the standard of some of their previous work but it’s still got a good beat and the vocals are sounding good. It is also different to the other tracks as it’s more of a traditional dance track. ‘Bingo Bango’ is another of my favourites I think this is such a catchy tune I always find my self singing (or at least trying) along. The Afro-Caribbean grooves on this track are truly infectious and it brings any party alive, I can’t believe it was released five years ago!

The album also features the big hits ‘Romeo’ and ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ ‘Romeo’ is really catchy, once it’s in my head I find myself singing it for the rest of the day. It features vocalist Kele Le Roc who has a really throaty, pouty wail that suits the lyrics well, and when the bottom drops out the samba-slap groove the tune gathers momentum and melody as it veers out of control. This song really shows that dancefloor anthems do make good pop songs.
There are a couple of weaker tracks on the album which fall just short of the Jaxx usual standard. For me these are ‘Plug it in’ and ‘Samba Magic’. I’m really divided on ‘Plug it in’ features JC Chasez adding another dimension to the album and although I once heard a good remix of this, the original single is a bit too electro for me, apart from the chorus which I really like, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t it depends what mood I’m in. The final track ‘Samba Magic’ is a latino track from their early days and although it’s an alright track I think it serves to show how far they’ve come since those early days more than anything because it doesn’t come close to the more recent stuff.

I really like the various cultural influences incorporated into Basement Jaxx’s music and this album highlight these at times, for example on the track ‘Lucky Star’. This is a really funky garage tune with middle-eastern arabesques adding a different vibe to the album, it features Dizzee Rascal who raps the chorus bringing a really cool element to the song. It’s got quite a different sound to the other tracks which makes it stand out, though it’s hard to say this on such a diverse album. Still I really like the contrast of Dizzee Rascal’s voice with the sweet tune, somehow it goes really well together. ‘Jus 1 Kiss’ is a sophisticated dance floor groove which has a good beat, classic Basement Jaxx really. Other songs on this fifteen-track album include ‘Rendez-Vu’, ‘Jump N’ Shout’, ‘U Don’t Know Me’ and ‘Flylife’. There are a couple of other tracks that I would have liked to see on this album, such as ‘Cish Cash’ but overall it’s a top mix and reflects how far the Jaxx have come.

Basement Jaxx aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I like a wide variety of music and style and to me this album represents a dynamic compendium of the group’s contribution to music over the years, it represents their playful invention and displays of the diversity of their music and how much it has grown over the years. You really don’t have to be into house music at all to enjoy this album and I’d urge you to have a listen to it, it’s certainly an album I’ll be listening to for a long time to come and the fact that the old songs are still sounding just as good shows that they have a longevity that many tunes of the same genre simply don’t have. In my opinion this is a top quality album and it fully deserves five stars, I just hope Basement Jaxx continue to produce more top quality tunes for a long time to come.

Overall this is an excellent eclectic mix of Basement Jaxx’s singles over the past few years that comes strongly recommended.

You can purchase Basement Jaxx ‘The Singles’ from amazon.co.uk for £8.99.


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Comments on this review

  • Lemonhead563 published 15/11/2006
    Great review.....this album often gets put on whilst I'm getting ready to go out on the town x
  • js2ht2andl published 12/07/2006
    I've been eyeing this up for a while but to be honest was hoping they would release a few more tracks before I was forced to buy it. They're a great group to listen to and the recent offerings are class. x
  • nadiawalton published 05/09/2005
    Very thorough!!! Have pondered buying it for ages, seems right up my street after reading your review. thanks!
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Product Information : Singles, The - Basement Jaxx

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - UK House - Label: XL - Distributor: PIAS UK/Sony DADC - Released: 21/03/2005 - 634904018726

Product Details

EAN: 634904018726

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Listed on Ciao since: 22/03/2005