Damage review by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

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  • Released: Sep 28, 2004
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 10 (2 votes)
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Damage

Sound — 10
Jon Spencer and crew have created what rock music should have evolved into over the years instead of becoming stale and full of regurgitated pop riffs. Jon is not someone who is afraid to be different and here he uses his genre bending style to infuse proper rock n roll with scratching DJs, rappers and various other weird and wonderful sounds to superb effect. Don't let such things put you off though, they pull it off with such style and flare you won't even notice after a few runs though. Thankfully gone are the sounds from the previous album and have been refined much better use in songs like 'Damage'. 'Fed Up And Low Down' is the most technically impressive song on the album mixing Scratching decks, massive guitars and drums, slides, talk box's and roughly 400 other sounds they throw in at will. Luckily (though clearly well thought out) it all falls together and is one of the weirdest and best on the album. The guitars are huge with great riffs and licks that he seems to pull out of the air. The whole thing is very wild when the Blues Explosion gets going but somehow it all holds together similar to the way Hendrix kept such a tight unit.

Lyrics — 10
Jon overlays a distortion to most of his lyrics which makes it quite hard to understand him sometimes, but really adds to the music. Not that he has a bad voice, its very good, striking a middle ground between Elvis and Mick Jagger, spitting his lyrics at you with attitude and supreme confidence. Lyrics that are audible are mostly nothing to write home about but they do fit the music and its manic style.

Overall Impression — 10
This is The Blues Explosions best album to date and the only way is up for these guys. They have the energy, talent and guts to keep creating albums like this. The album does need about 3 plays through before you notice smaller songs like 'spoiled' which is stuck in between Burn it off (the biggest song on the album) and the sing along groove of 'Crunchy'. But this isn't an album of singles and shouldn't be treated that way. If I have a complaint it's that by 'Fed up and low down' your exhausted and the 'single' style songs are gone leaving 'Rattle' and 'Blow my mind' in an awkward position. Other than that I can't find a fault and probably wont until they make a new record. There are very few modern rock bands I will endorse but Blues Explosion aren't your ordinary modern rock band. Between the Blues explosion, the Kings Of Leon you can get the best modern rock music has available, both bringing something different to the table and for me are the only two modern bands I will really listen to (although I do keep an eye on the stroke from time to time and will predict something really great from them soon). Bottom line, buy this album, you might be disappointed but trust me, Jon Spencer is rock 'n' roll.

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