Review Summary: How low can you go?
In general, making assumptions about somebody's personality and intellect based on their musical tastes is unfair. No amount of "scientific" journalism can really prove that listening to Sufjan Stevens will make you smarter and no amount of baseless insulting on internet forums will prove that somebody is legitimately stupid for enjoying Def Leppard. As the saying goes: "to each his own
." However, I had trouble concentrating on said fact when I gave Jet's latest album Shaka Rock
a thorough listen-through. Though I kept an open mind when the opening notes of 'K.I.A. (Killed In Action)' sounded, by the time third song 'She's A Genius' came to a close, I drew a conclusion: if you truly enjoy Shaka Rock
, I am genuinely worried for you.
As the album played on, however, I learned that this conclusion was maybe just a bit off -- there are some inarguably tolerable moments on the record. Tracks like 'Seventeen' and 'Goodbye Hollywood' are actually quite decent, even if they find Jet predictably emulating the Rolling Stones and countless other classic rock acts. Unfortunately, other highlights on the record aren't found in entire songs but rather in particular segments of Shaka Rock
. For example, the piano introduction of 'Walk' starts with incredible potential before dwindling into the deplorable abyss of poor songwriting and 'Let Me Out' boasts a catchy, non-irritating chorus that sticks out like a sore thumb amongst it's tacky and lifeless verses. Ultimately though, these moments are not good
, they're just not as bad as the rest of Shaka Rock
ends up being.
Instead of taking the constructive criticism offered up by obviously reputable critics such as Ray Suzuki, Jet have decided to further their sound into the murk of self-parodying. As with every Jet album, there is a song that purposefully tries to recreate the success of 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?' and this time around it's 'She's a Genius', a stale and obviously familiar rock single led by an incredibly, incredibly boring riff that fails to engross any sort of interest before it comes to a close -- essentially all of the songs on 'Shaka Rock' work under this formula. Nic Cester still whines and moans like a nasally, raspier Kenny Loggins, Cameron Muncey still writes bad solos and Zeppelin-rip off riffs and the band as a whole tries so hard to sound nostalgic and instead sound childishly unoriginal. Just like every Jet album that came before it, it's indisputable that 'Shaka Rock's biggest fault is it's failure to be creative and it's dependence on their exhausted, faux-classic rock sound. With too little cohesiveness and too much nostalgia, 'Shaka Rock' proves to be an embarrassment to bands who make careful alterations to the classic rock sound while simultaneously adding their own flavor to the mix instead of blatantly reiterating musical ideas that are 40 years too late. Jet isn't strictly music for imbeciles, but even with the tolerable moments on their latest record, they have reached new, unprecedented lows. Adversely, if this album does
titillate your sweet tooth for mediocrity, I'm not going to say that you're mentally unstable -- but I will let you know that you probably need to do some re-evaluation.