There are almost no killer dance tracks on KISH KASH. 1999's Remedy had "Yo-Yo" and "Red Alert", 2001's Rooty had "Romeo" and "Where's Your Head At?" but the most KISH KASH can muster is a few minutes in "Plug It In" and the last half of "Supersonic".
You may not get that "carried away" feeling on Kish Kash because there's simply too much going on that demands your attention. Whether it's people joyously screaming in the background or a seemingly possessed harmonica, the music is in your face and in your ears and all over your clothes. You'll undoubtedly move to the music in quick sharp bursts whenever two concepts crash in a delicious synergy. You'll feel it coming together and even if your brain doesn't notice, your body will.
This is not to say that KISH KASH is bad. If anything, it's the best full album I've heard all year. It's not dance music (at least by current standards), nor can it be classified to any particular genre. The title KISH KASH may allude to the "mish-mash" of musical styles contained in these 14 tracks (3 of which are interludes). What this means is that the remixes will probably be fantastic and Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe will enjoy healthy royalties from the use of these songs in commercials.
While Apple, Doritos, Intel and Nissan salivate over the new pool of fantastic music to add to their TV spots, listeners get to trip on the sonic smorgasbord the Jaxx have laid out for us. Like the previous two CDs, KISH KASH starts with an intonation of sorts. Ethereal voices call up "the Jaxx" as if they are summoning spirits, and then the ghosts of music past begin their assault on your eardrums. And the effect is like having elves dressed as members of Prince and the Revolution shoot water pistols full of Kool-Aid as they dance in your head.
J.C. Chasez of N*SYNC contributes lead vocals to Plug It In, easily the standout track on this collection.
Hot & Cold is an electro nouveau workout that is so simple and so sweet you might be tempted to think its a filler track. But the beat and the melody eventually become complex enough to silence the nagging thought that they put this together at the last minute.
Siouxsie Sioux sings lead on the incredible title track, which appears about halfway through the CD. This infusion of new wave alternative is a welcome addition to the Jaxx universe. Further proof that Felix and Simon have been marinating their vision in eighties music is the song Living Room that somehow manages to blend Adam Ant, The Violent Femmes, The Romantics and acoustic Janes Addiction.
Supersonic and Right Heres The Spot are Parliament and Prince through and through. Each contains a cool center of funk surrounded by a hard candy shell that will melt in your mouth and you hands. Totlyn Jackson handles vocals on Supersonic which starts off rather slow and then builds to an explosive climax. MeShell Ndegeocello sings lead on Spot wrapping her voice around lyrics that only incredibly cool people could sing.
Beck, Outkast and the Jaxx are making the records Prince would be making if he had not gotten swindled by Mayte and Larry Graham. I think they should tap former Revolution members Wendy and Lisa for their next CD. They are obviously fans of Prince. And in this album, the Jaxx make plenty of references to the former Artist Formerly Known As stealing a lyric from All The Critics Love U In New York. And while they sing, you can dance if you want to it calls to mind the nature of the CD itself. Hell, you can dance to anything as long as you feel the groove and Simon and Felix havent lost theirs. At least not yet.