Jaguar Love

Hologram Jams

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AllMusic Review by

With Jaguar Love’s 2008 debut, the former Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves members seemed to be headed in a poppier direction, but no one could be prepared for Hologram Jams. Going the Har Mar Superstar route, for their 2010 outing, the group made a full-fledged computerized pop album. Without key member, drummer/bassist/sometimes keyboardist, J. Clark, the former power trio continued on as a guitar and laptop duo. It’s a huge turn, and because Hologram Jams is so synthesized, with the only organic ingredient being Cody Voltolato’s processed guitar, Johnny Whitney’s dazzlingly shrill singing style and flare for dramatics become even more evident. Since critics have compared Whitney's singing voice to a “castrated vulture” and “a deliriously deaf 12-year old,” this may not necessarily be a positive thing. However, if you can take Hologram Jams lightly and come to terms with the fact that Jaguar Love’s post-punk and rock pretenses are fully behind them, then it’s a fun outing. Ridiculous lyrics, bristling energy, ‘80s synths, and booty beats are the core of the record. “I Started a Fire” and “Up All Night” are bombastic singles, while “Don’t Die Alone” and “Evaline” are sentimental power anthems for a digital age. Just be sure to avoid the bonus track at all costs. There's no reason for an electro-version of Janis Joplin’s “Take Another Little Piece of my Heart.”

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