One thing is certain in this world: when a track grooves, you groove along with it. You'll be grooving all throughout the new Jamiroquai album Automaton with its neverending funk and fire.
It's really hard to not enjoy this album. This electronic rock record brings in huge amounts of infectious funk and dancey vibes to help maintain the mood throughout it. The album is introduced by a barrage of groove with first track 'Shake It On.' It begins dinkily with a pretty silly synth and a darker reverberating synth before a pop beat kicks in soon after. Then the vocals kick in, and things start getting real. The melodies are fantastic and come loaded with coolness and soul. The song slowly builds up to become a real dance rock epic, symphonies and a choir backing it by its end.
You're probably oozing with the groove now, and you're only on the first track. You won't be getting much of a break, because follow up track 'Automaton' brings even more soul to the table with its pulsing, almost industrial synths and sweet melodies. As the funk becomes the standard, the album does slow down a bit in terms of interest, but not in terms of energy. There are lots of great tracks on Automaton, but a lot of them don't quite live up to the great energy of the first few tracks. You can hear Bruno Mars and DNCE collide in 'Something About You' or jam out to the groovy basslines of 'Hot Property' and 'Summer Girl.' There's a lot of options.
Automaton isn't a perfect album, though. As said before, the rest of the album doesn't really live up to the first few tracks. There aren't many low points, but there aren't many really great moments either. The lowest point of the record is probably 'Nights Out In The Jungle,' where the vocals really get in the way of the 80s-dance beat and punchy bassline and make the song sound pretty jumbled. The six-minute epic jazz and funk fusion 'Dr Buzz' is probably the only other really great moment on the track, as it transforms all of the funky energy into some soulful energy. And how can you not love a track with a saxophone solo?
It's easy to get into the groove with Jamiroquai's Automaton, but there aren't a lot of great moments you'll come back to. As a whole, this album carries its energy all the way through without stop, but it does feel like it could use more places that really mold the funkiness into something different. That fact alone isn't enough to stop you from dancing about, though.
Favorite Tracks: Shake It On, Automaton
Least Favorite Track: Nights Out In The Jungle
Rating: 76 / 100
Buy or listen to Automaton here: