Jean Beauvoir

Jacknifed

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AllMusic Review by

Jean Beauvoir has the image and the sound down on Jacknifed, and the one time Plasmatics bass player/Ramones producer abandons his hard rock day gigs for very Prince-sounding dance music here. This album has a lot in common musically with bassist Fernando Saunders' Cashmere Dreams, although Saunders is able to create separate identities for his songs, while Beauvoir has a sameness which is a slight drawback. The excellent hooks in "Jimmy" and "Spend Your Life With Me" get lost in the double frosting that is the keyboard/drum overabundance. Emulating Prince's vocal riffs and mini-howls doesn't help either. Where Jonzun Crew guitarist Tony "Rocks" Cowan will experiment with sound and vocal technique making his material so different it oftentimes sounds like someone else from track to track, Beauvoir finds his groove and sticks with it. The title track has a nice Tommy Lafferty solo, and that identifies another problem with the disc. Jean Beauvoir pulls an Emmit Rhodes/Paul McCartney/Todd Rundgren by playing most of the instruments himself. The aforementioned knew the inherent dangers of limiting your flavors, and did their best to compensate. There's no compensation here. Also, they played to their audience -- adding a Ramones-style rocker or something along the lines of a metal/dance version of "Dream Lover" from New Hope for the Wretched or "Sex Junkie" from Beyond the Valley of 1984 would have been hooks for his fan base to latch onto, and would have added a much needed other dimension here. The lyrics are hip and show another side of the multi-talented Jean Beauvor -- "I cop a score of 90/talking, talking about intelligence/I think I'm high and mighty" -- the emphasis seems to be on the word "high" in "Gamblin' Man" which sounds like a song of regret in the midst of narcotic-induced dilemma. Former Plasmastics lead guitarist Richie Stotts had a demo floating around including a song "The Man With the X Ray Eyes" -- had the two collaborated on this album, and included the best of both worlds, it could have gone from good to great.

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