Electric Honey

Luscious Jackson

Grand Royal Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/28/1999

Not saying this band couldn't make it on their own, but Luscious Jackson have certainly had their share of breaks in their career. Starting off by impressing the Beastie Boys, Luscious Jackson were signed to Grand Royal Records.

After making pals with the Beastie Boys, Luscious Jackson was able to hook up with Daniel Lanois (producer of some of U2's best stuff amongst other credits). Now, on their third full length album, Electric Honey, the band snabbed one of the best mixers in the business, Andy Wallace. Wallace has helped put accessible touches on albums by such at first inaccessable bands like Slayer and Nirvana.

To boot, the band has had great luck getting great guest vocalists for their albums. Their last album featured Emmylou Harris, an odd choice for the band, but it definitely worked. This venture out, the band snagged a vocalist more accustomed to their own style: Deborah Harry.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With all this going for Luscious Jackson, it would be easy to write the band off a novelty band who has had every luxury handed to them. Think again. Though the band may have achieved some studio slack, right now, they're running away with the "act that will take you most by surprise" at this year's Lilith Fair tour.

Though Vivian Trimble, a band member since 1992, departed ways with the band when Electric Honey was recorded, there appears to be very little, if any dissonance with the band on Electric Honey. While Fever In Fever Out took some experimental sidesteps, Electric Honey doesn't waste a beat in trying to make you shake your rump.

Like their previous two albums, their newest one opens up with the most radio-friendly song in the bunch. "Nervous Breakthrough" is a perfect summer song. Starting off with a bouncy, deep club bass beat, the song draws you into Jill Cunniff's airy, yet strong voice. The song even incorporates a nifty little rap midway through.

Other songs are just as appealing. The funky, '70sish "Sexy Hypnotist" and the quarky "Alien Lover" make it evident that Luscious Jackson aims to take this album to the dance floor as well as your car stereo.

Unfortunately, Electric Honey has the tendency to peter off towards the end. While it's an improvement over "Fever In" (that one lost steam midway through the album), Electric Honey almost gets the job done, but the last three or four songs are slightly forgettable.

Still, for a summer album, Electric Honey looks like it's ready to do to boom boxes what Hello Nasty did last year. Which is good for those fans out there still hoping for a revival in alternative music. While all of your bandwagon jumping fans may be grooving out to the sounds of 98° and Ricky Martin, Electric Honey proves that there're still bands out there who make feel good music without making you feel like you need a cavity filled.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1999 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Grand Royal Records, and is used for informational purposes only.