Sound — 9
Jet is finding its inner Beatle. On the band's latest record Shine On, there are multiple tracks that feel like they could be straight off any of the Fab Four's records. Interestingly enough, the moments where The Beatles' influence pops up is when the CD is at its most interesting. The band has done plenty of work that resembles The Rolling Stones and blue-rock bands like them, so this latest venture is an interesting choice. When you hear the very brief intro L'esprit D'escalier, you'll swear that you could be hearing John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The harmonies are straight from a song like Nowhere Man, and it's definitely obvious that the band used it as a sort of homage. It gives the album a truly classic feel, and Jet was wise to start things off with a familiar, yet lasting note. Of course, the first single that the band put out sounds very much like hits like Cold Hard Bitch, and that's probably a wise decision in appealing to it's fan base. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is combines Jet (vocalist/guitarist Nic Cester, drummer Chris Cester, bassist Mark Wilson, and guitarist Cameron Muncey) trademarks like bluesy riffs and bare-bones rock with the new addition of vocalist Nic Cester's falsetto touch. Given that most of the band's hits have focused primarily on one particular vocal style with multiple oh yeahs, hearing Cester try a little something different is both refreshing and more memorable. Shine On has an assortment of ballads, and while they are a pleasing bunch, all of them don't necessarily take your breath away. The title track Shine On features a choir in the background much like Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, and it does seem like the band was going for an epic-sounding song. Unfortunately, Jet's choir does not really add much to the track and probably was not needed at all. While the piano in the track adds a nice contrast to the usual guitar-based songs Jet writes, Shine On never leaves a huge impression. The band does seem to once again be inspired by The Beatles in the track Shiny Magazine. Cester sounds eerily similar to John Lennon in this one, and he pulls it off extremely well. If you enjoy the Beatles, you're likely to listen to Shiny Magazine with a tinge of nostalgia. Even the guitar solo uses the style of George Harrison in its phrasing and effects. The ballad stands out leaps and bounds from the other ballads, and a little inspiration from The Beatles is never a bad thing. While the CD has a number of well-done tracks, there are a few -- both in the ballads and the rock tunes -- that just don't have many distinguishable qualities. As a rock band, Jet does still offer plenty of fun songs, however, and for that reason Shine On will likely please the band's regular fan base.
Lyrics — 8
Jet's lyrics are much like its music, with a straightforward approach that doesn't necessarily throw anything unexpected at you. If the band were to write lyrics that probed the deepest secrets of the universe, it just wouldn't fit. So songs about hot ladies and playing rock and roll fit the band kind of like a glove. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is has exactly that blatant sexuality that has made Jet fun and keeps the rock and roll tradition alive. Cester sings, She's a loaded gun; In my shaking hands; Am I in hell or the promised land, yeah. While it does resemble Cold Hard Bitch, the formula does seem appropriate for your run-of-the-mill rock tune. In Hey Kids, the band injects a little bit of the past and the present in the lyrics. Guitarist Cam Muncey sings, Hey, old man, remember Vietnam; You hated Vietnam, but you dig Afghanistan. By going beyond the girl-hunting lyrics and writing lines that are pertinent to today's culture shows plenty of growth by the band. The band's songs don't necessarily go much beyond what listeners heard on its debut Get Born, but the music is really the selling point anyhow.
Overall Impression — 8
Jet is doing what it does best: making good, old-fashioned rock and roll. The fact that the band is not swayed by the latest sounds is respectable, even when it does not always write songs that stand out from the bunch. While Shine On does have some excellent rock tracks, with the first single leading the pack, it may not be enough for someone looking for something a little different from the last CD. What is most notable about the latest CD is the heavy influence of The Beatles. This could either really connect with listeners or leave them a bit too annoyed by the lack of originality. The band does recreate some of the classic Beatles' sounds very effectively, and it's fascinating to hear the band go from a more Stones-based tune to a Beatles-ish ballad. Shine On is definitely not the most original record, but it might just spark younger listeners' interest in some of the classic bands that probably influenced Jet in the making of the record.