Review Summary: A gift for true fans mainly…Jacoozzi
has been an often discussed subject in between Brant Bjork fans this decade. These jams started out as drum improvisations in 2010, subsequently layered by the man himself. Unfortunately, the project was shelved until now, when we finally get to hear these ditties. The result ended up closest in sound to the veteran's debut LP, Jalamanta
, due to its loose and spontaneous nature, as well as remaining an actual solo work. The vocals are missing for the most part and so are the trademark riffs. To compensate for this, we can hear several dub, blues and Latin influences all over, thus, creating a slightly different affair than usual.
Brant’s music is known for its laid back vibe, but Jacoozzi
takes it to the next level. These "sun burnt" experiments bring the Mojave Desert into your home, oozing out weed scent. The extended, opening jams, ‘Can’t Out Run the Sun’ & ‘Guerilla Funk’ use repetition for their relaxed atmosphere to set in. The former’s tremolo guitar over tom-heavy drum patterns evokes that sunset calm, whereas the steady rhythm of the latter is further enhanced by cool licks and several fills along the way. Meanwhile, on ‘Mexico City Blues’ and ‘Oui’, Bjork channels his inner Santana, using Latino grooves and guitar solos (especially on ‘Oui’). The man’s “less is more” approach is probably the best way to characterize this LP.
Other interesting moments include the classic sounding BB tune, ‘Lost in Race’, which could’ve been inserted on any of his albums, had he added vocals to it. Also, ‘Polarized’ switches the mood a bit, introducing fuzz-drenched, feedback guitar as a main element. Some sparse piano notes, alongside deep bass lines play in the background, creating a darker, more intense track on this otherwise chill album. On the other hand, ‘Do You Love Your World"’ closes this spaced out trip with subtle guitar strums and gentle croons. This Tres Dias
reminiscent number features the only lyrics here, adding to the overall variety. Nevertheless, as the music quietly fades, I can’t help but realize I’m not truly satisfied with Jacoozzi
. In fact, this is the main issue, the stripped nature of the songs falls short of expectations, often failing to create true momentum. The record unfolds a bit after a couple of slips, yet that’s about it. Still, fans will cherish it most, making for an interesting addition or curiosity in Bjork’s catalog. Unfortunately, beyond that, there isn’t that much to cling to.