The Return of the Space Cowboy
is the second album by the band Jamiroquai.
Released in 1994, it is usually classified under the acid-jazz and funk genre. One odd but very unique song on the album is "Space Cowboy", it is said to be a "cannabis apology". This album has become somewhat uncommon in the United States but remains a classic in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Many consider it to be the best and most refined example of the unique Jamiroquai sound.
Following up a debut, "Emergency On Planet Earth"
, that bubbled over with soul, funk and outrageous acid-jazz rhythms, "Return Of The Space Cowboy" brings the tempo down a notch, without losing any of its funky musical edge (or any of its idealistic lyrical flow). Singer Jason "Jay" Kay's vocals maintain the smooth manner of Stevie Wonder and Al Green, as demonstrated on "Stillness In Time," which evokes the Brazilian grooves of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and on the quiet-storm-like title track.
Lest this become a totally low-key affair, a handful of tracks guarantee Jamiroquai isn't faking the funk. "The Kids" opens up the band's sound with greasy wah-wah guitar, punchy horns and a bouncy Moog syunthesizer."Light Years" mix in equal amounts Parliament-Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire, guaranteeing hours of head-bopping and toe-tapping.
--- The Band ---
--- The Review of The Return of the Space Cowboy by Jamiroquai ---
"Just Another Story"
is really long opener for the album. This song signals a lot of diversity and some amazing creativity at the start of the album. It is quite a dark entrance to the song with some wierd effects and some low bass lines, it then raises to some jumpy keyboards and some great poppy sounding bass lines. The drums are frantic on the hi-hat but keeps cool on the others, this gives out the beat of the song. Jay's vocals then come in and they sound perfect on the song with his smooth sound and very energetic soulful voice. This song seems to have at least 4 parts as it changes every 2 minutes with some great music work with the bass guitar leading the way. This actually avoids the repetition of a really long song so it keeps you engrossed into the song which is great. The song gets more energetic as it durates further with Jay's vocals becoming more funky and the wah-wah of the guitar giving some great melodic moves. The lyrics on the song are very angst in a way but it still keeps that lively effect because of Jay's energetic technique. Overall, this song is fantastic with it's versatile music and some amazing vocals from Jay, it is a long song but time passes by with it's changing moods.
"Stillness In Time"
is a very soulful song with straight away with some smooth vocals and some soft keyboards. The music on this song is very colourful with some beautiful moves and Jay's vocals really shining on the track. The chorus is very picturesque as the background vocals give out soul in the song and then it breaks down to some beautiful music and some nice licks on the guitar and the flute playing really is a nice touch. The vocals maintain that magnificence on the song which is the highlight of the song. This is another excellent song on the album.
"Half The Man"
starts off very slowly with some lonely keyboards but then the drums pick it up from there and Jay's vocals mix up the song to a more jazzy feel. The percussion on the song is very engrossing as it moves the beat along and the song sounds very much like what "Stevie Wonder" would do. The whole basic outline of the music is very soulful and jazzy and tends to be relaxing. This is a very relaxing song compared to the recent 2 songs before and it releases beauty on here.
is a more of a dark atmospheric song that has an energetic side to it. The freaky piano sounds and the fuzzy bass line really brings out the dancefloor feel to the song. The fuzzy bass on the song is great and Jay's voice seems to be a tiny bit emotional but he still has that smooth consistant sound and it works amazingly well here. The whole song is very catchy and the music is the highlight with some versatile percussion and the great bass lines make this one of the highlights on the album. This is another considerably long song but again the diversity of the song avoids this.
starts with a lively bass line and some quiet ride cymbals but then the piano plays down the liveliness of the bass to a more lonely feeling. Jay's vocals are for a first on the album less energetic to a more mellow sound. This changes when the chorus is more uplifting with the vocals and the paino is more lively but then breaks down nicely back to the main body. This is just a very blissful song to listen to and the first semi-ballad song on the album and it is very graceful.
puts as to a more rock/funk sound with some powerful wah-wah guitaring and some rapid bass lines and some complex drumming. This song is moderatly fast so it brings back Jay's vocals to a energetic side and the guitar is the one which shines on this track with some great usage of the wah-wah. The chorus is very different to the verse with it being more of a jumpy bass line lead and more brass instruments are used and a very direct and fast vocals are here. This song has an adrenealine rush on it making it the most energetic track on the album and this song is great by the way.
is based on percussion at the start with some Indian sounding bongos and some drumming. It sounds out of the world for a brief moment then goes to the Jamiroquai sound on the verse with some soulful bass and vocals that are very smooth and just fantastic technique. The song is very beatful with the percussion playing a big part here and it is very diverse. This song has the same logic as "Stillness In Time" but it has more detail in the music. This is a very feel-good track and is excellent.
is very dark at the start with a some low keyboard effects and the string arrangements are very dramatic but this all breaks down to the funky soul. This song is bound to make you tap your feet or do something like that which will keep you into the feel of the song. The vocals are very jumpy and very cool with some great technique and the bass is just very melodic and the the background music is just beatful. The song is another example of Jamiroquai's sound being at it's best.
"Journey To Arnhemland"
is an instrumental that has some lyrics but is very brief. Wallis Buchanan's didgeridoo, a Jamiroquai trademark, returns particularly strongly on "Journey To Arnhemland," which sounds like the theme from an Aboriginal blaxploitation flick. The song is very energised but a comfortable listen for the listener. The song is very stellar and people say that it's a track that should not be skipped when listening to it.
carries on that feel from the previous song. The start is very dreamy with some engrossing effects on the keyboard and the strings are very lonely. The percussion are very echoey and the outcome of this versatile start is just mesmerizing. The vocals are very toned down to a more mellow sound that really plays on the dreamy sound of the song. The whole song is like your in another world while listening to it. This is my favourite on the album, it just blows me away while listening the most blissful music that I have ever heard.
is the most well-known song of this album saying that it is Jamiroquai's best ever release. The song starts with some very dark keyboards but then goes to the Jamiroquai sound. This is the best sound of Jamiroquai with Jay's vocals at his best here and the lyric's are very meaningful about apologising taking cannabis. The music is very dreamful again with the keyboard shining here. The song repeats the song over again but there are some alterations of the effects on the keyboard which again avoids the repetition. This ends the album in the best possible way.
--- Overview of The Return of the Space Cowboy by Jamiroquai ---
1. Just Another Story - 5/5
2. Stillness In Time - 4.5/5
3. Half The Man - 4.5/5
4. Light Years - 5/5
5. Manifest Destiny - 4.5/5
6. The Kids - 4/5
7. Mr Moon - 4.75/5
8. Scam - 4.5/5
9. Journey To Arnhemland - 5/5
10. Morning Glory - 5/5
11. Space Cowboy - 5/5
Overall Time: 71:57
[+] Amazing Music!
[+] Jay's vocals are always amazing
[+] Bass is the best I've heard
[+] Very Diverse
[+] Never Boring
[+] Engrossing everytime you listen
[-] Songs are too long at times
Overall, this album is probably the most diverse CD that I have ever had. The music is the high point on the album following the vocals. The songs are all meaningful and they are truthful. This is Jamiroquai's best album to date and most critics think that this album is up there with the classics. I certainly think so with all songs being excellent and this album is to me a very influential with experimenting with music. This album has many moods to it and it keeps you engrossed to the album. This will therefore get:
Final Rating: 5/5