Jaguar Love
Take Me to the Sea


2.0
poor

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
August 21st, 2008 | 97 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don't let these jaguar pirates steal your treasure; these Blood Brothers don't deserve one bit of your treasure.

The Blood Brothers died way too early. After just five albums, the last of which was arguably the high point of their career, the band just fell apart. From this, we have two new projects, both not surprisingly fronted by one of the two vocalists found in the Blood Brothers; Past Lives featuring Jordan Blilie (and pretty much the rest of the Blood Brothers, minus a recent guitarist and plus an original guitarist), and Jaguar Love featuring Johnny Whitney and the guitarist as of the end of the band, Cody Votolato. With the addition of Jay Clark, Jaguar Love would flesh out its lineup and has now released its debut LP, Take Me to the Sea. What is there to say about this new endeavor? Well…mostly that it’s a bunch of unlistenable crap.

What made the Blood Brothers initially tolerable was the fact that beneath the apparent madness, usually everything was tightly constructed and seemed to converge on points of explosive goodness. Jaguar Love seems to wander aimlessly throughout its glammy, punk influenced pop landscapes in search of the next odd time signature in which to insert a crazy hook. The entire record feels very unhinged, but it never pays off with any kind of real excitement or musical epiphany, and neither does it really stick in your head. Musically, it is vaguely interesting and Votolato certainly continues the strong musicianship he has shown over the years. The album doesn’t really stick to one sound for very long, and the constant sound changes and tempo upheavals will probably make “scene” kids across the country tremendously happy. However, it really just makes every song sound like a similar mess of noise without anything of substance to really hold it together.

Yes, it pretty much is a power pop album that has an attitude, exactly what everyone expected Johnny Whitney would want to make after Neon Blonde. How unfortunate it is then that the man who girls everywhere screamed for (for reasons ENTIRELY unknown to most of the male public) at live shows is the true undoing of this record. To put it bluntly, listening to over 40 minutes of Johnny Whitney sing by himself is like mixing two horrible extremes in two senses. Imagine hearing nails being scraped on a chalkboard, while being forced to watch paint dry. Whitney has run out of vocal tricks to impress us with, and now without anyone to play off of all of his faults as a singer are laid bare with nowhere to go. He rarely sings in pitch, and his voice is something that even the biggest fan will tell you is an “acquired taste”. What’s even worse is he attempts some ‘soulful’ singing on the track “Georgia”, and I can honestly say I felt embarrassment for the man for it.

What Take Me to the Sea proves is that a unique, ever changing and technically proficient album can actually end up being really bad. It’s not bad in the sense its unredeemable, just in the sense that it fails to do what it wants to really, really hard. It’s not homogeneous in the fact that every song sounds the same, but that pretty much every song ends up doing the same things. It’s not disappointing in the sense we were all expecting something brilliant, but in the sense that we all thought that a pop album made by dudes from the Blood Brothers would at least be cool to listen to. And while it might be cute for a play through, it is unfortunately nothing to get excited about.

We can only pray for a miraculous new Neon Blonde album. Or that Johnny Whitney just becomes a teacher or something.



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user ratings (59)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


17231 Comments


damn... I had hopes for this.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I waited till after I wrote this to see what other critics thought, and apparently all the trendy mags love this.
so maybe I am wrong idk?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


17231 Comments


nah, if the songs on their myspace are any indication you are pretty much spot on. his voice is headache inducing. oh well, fuck me for having expectations. This Message Edited On 08.21.08

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The first two songs I heard from this actually made me excited. Oh well, listening to that Past Lives EP for the first time so hopefully I get more out of it. I always liked Jordan and Mark the most out of the band so eh.

sub-bass
August 21st 2008


4 Comments


The album does leave something to be desired but I really like the song Jaguar Pirates.

plane
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


6100 Comments


yeah this is bad

ant4tbc
August 21st 2008


373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I honestly don't think that this is THAT bad of album.
I like it.

richardmonglerv2
August 21st 2008


38 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is passable.


iamrockzorz
August 21st 2008


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it just amuses me that both of these bands sound like half of blood brothers. neither of them will ever live up to that.

iamrockzorz
August 21st 2008


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I lied, the past lives is pretty good. I'm excited for that. This is meh.

brandtweathers
August 21st 2008


2007 Comments


young machetes has an inaccurate review to your credit
thinkin that maybe you rushed your opinions again?

iamrockzorz
August 21st 2008


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

At least past lives sounds like a new band. This sounds like half of a good band.

brandtweathers
August 21st 2008


2007 Comments


Or that Johnny Whitney just becomes a teacher or something

hahahaha

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Young Machetes is just a hard album to grasp in the light of the albums that preceded it. I've had this for a month, and I liked it a little more at first but as I listened it just wasn't a good album.
Past Lives is seriously good though.

astrel
August 21st 2008


2614 Comments


his vocals do not fit this sound. at all.This Message Edited On 08.21.08

iamrockzorz
August 21st 2008


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

His vocals don't fit this....

his vocals don't fit.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

His fit fine in the sense that the music is trying to push the boundaries of what you can call pop music.
Its just he has an awful singing voice.

brandtweathers
August 21st 2008


2007 Comments


I've had this for a month

that cleared up my concerns. solid review john
His vocals don't fit this....



his vocals don't fit.

theyve never fit anything
Its just he has an awful singing voice

not in lift the veil kiss the tank/camouflage, camouflage
This Message Edited On 08.21.08

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nah he was pretty awful there, but there was something inherent;y beautiful about his voice in the bridge of Camouflage, Camouflage that he's never been able to recreate elsewhere.

brandtweathers
August 21st 2008


2007 Comments


agreed. i think that something was ian puciato's expectations. and mad production.



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