Luscious Jackson

Electric Honey

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Reversing course from the kaleidoscopic pop of Fever in Fever Out, Electric Honey finds Luscious Jackson narrowing their focus, concentrating more on groove and texture than full-fledged songs. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since their albums always had strong rhythm, but Electric Honey tends to float away. Somewhere along the way, Luscious Jackson smoothed out all their quirks and grit, shaping their sound into an appealingly funky, multilayered, post-alternative pop groove. On the surface, or as background music, it's quite pleasing, but it's never really compelling, especially since many of the songs are never really about anything -- which is especially frustrating since the opening pair of "Nervous Breakthrough" and "Ladyfingers" are terrific continuations of Fever In. After that opening, Electric Honey doesn't begin to unravel as much as it settles into its own mire, recycling sounds familiar from its two predecessors, while offering slight songs about "Summer Daze," "Sexy Hypnotist"s, "Friends," "Alien Lover"s, and "Space Diva"s. The fluffiness of the songs wouldn't matter if each song had its own distinct feel. Instead, the entire album is variations on a groove -- breezy and enjoyable, to be sure, but nevertheless a little too lightweight to really take hold. Lightweight songwriting also suggests that Luscious Jackson may be running out of ideas, and it's hard to shake the impression that no matter how enjoyable certain parts of Electric Honey are, it finds the band treading water, not breaking new ground.

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