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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Basement Jaxx shows its ‘Scars’ on new album

    Basement Jaxx shows its Scars on new album

    Ten years is a long time in the world of music, let alone house music. But Basement Jaxx has been plugging it in and experiencing mostly good luck since its 1999 debut. Now Jaxx has returned with Scars, an album that finds the London duo revisiting its roots and the past decade of dance music.

    Unlike previous albums, Scars opens with a downbeat and even anxious tone. Artist Kelis belts out lyrics about “”coming loose at the seams”” and how “”all I got is my scars.”” Rapper Chipmunk rhymes about saving her when “”I come around back like karma, be your knight in shining armor.””

    The first single, “”Raindrops,”” proves to be as glorious as rainfall on the desert. Rather than bring in a guest singer, Jaxx member Felix Buxton takes up the vocal duties and Auto-Tunes his way through music that blossoms with every word. (T-Pain and Kanye could learn a few lessons here.) What’s striking about “”Raindrops”” is that it’s not overflowing with the usual skewed instrumentation used to fill in the spaces and mark the beat — it’s surprisingly straightforward.

    Of the guest spots on Scars, four stand out. Singer Santigold’s role in “”Saga”” recalls  “”Creator”” with its lyrics and warped vocals. Sam Sparro gives a soulful performance on the second single, “”Feelings Gone,”” exuding an exuberance that stands against his words of uncertainty and loneliness.

    Yoko Ono — yes, really — transforms “”Day of the Sunflowers (We March On)”” from a club-ready song into a sensual, poetic performance: “”Open like a flower, come get naked with me. / Music take me home, tie me up in melody. / Just a touch, it’s all we need. Just a kiss.”” Lisa Kekaula’s laidback, husky voice on “”Stay Close”” matches the lover’s invitation to a private, intimate setting and serves as the perfect tune to wind down to after a long night on the dance floor.

    While it may not match the danceability of previous efforts, Basement Jaxx’s Scars can still move the head and the hips as it delivers songs that push house music into a new decade.

    Rating: 4/5

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