The Hummers

Save The Jets

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Following three albums titled "listen," The Hummers went through a bit of a shakeup, with the departure of two members, and the introduction of a new keyboard player; this change of personnel excised the more experimental jazzy side of the group, putting more of an emphasis on funky grooves and complementary samples. With this change came a shift in strategy for naming the albums, though this one is no less an in-joke; according to DJ Tyler Sneesby, the fourth album's title -- a reference to Winnipeg's loss of the Jets hockey team to Phoenix in 1995 -- is conclusive proof that the band is about six or seven years behind the times. That's not exactly true, though; while jazz-funk portions of the sound are part of a tradition that goes back through the '50s, '60s and '70s, the hip-hop and electronic parts of the sound are right up to date. In fact, the heavier use of sampling on the album is a fairly noticeable change, especially on tracks like "A Song for Our Pets," which has an almost Akufen-like cutup feel, and "Green Green," where cleverly-chosen vocal samples give the illusion there's a singer in the band. It's a marked contrast to the screaming saxophone work on the previous releases that kept them from being quite so palatable; while Save the Jets doesn't exactly play it safe, there's at least enough of a balance between the two extremes to keep you from feeling clobbered by the avant-garde.

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