As you may have noticed, last week’s Dirrrty Pop Reviews Week was stalled due to a delay in recieving the CDs I planned to review, but they’re here now so, one week late, let’s get on with the show! First up is the debut album by ‘N Sync’s JC Chasez, Schizophrenic.
It’s interesting that JC has got away with calling the CD Schizophrenic as Geri Halliwell had to change her own debut album’s title from the same to Schizophonic. I’m wondering if JC is a little obsessed with mental illness as the cover photo shows him in a straightjacket, a look he and his bandmates also wore in their video for I Drive Myself Crazy. Inside the Schizophrenic booklet there are a few pages of pictures, but no lyrics. One photo is of JC sitting by an expanse of water with the words “beauty is in the ear of the beholder” and I couldn’t have put it better myself. This is certainly not the conventional boyband member solo album, and at first I wasn’t sure if I loved it or hated it but by track 7 (The fantastic If You Were My Girl) I had decided definitely the former. You can definitely hear how he influenced ‘N Sync’s music and with writing credits on all tracks except Shake It, he’s obviously a very talented young man.
1. Some Girls (Dance With Women)
The first single (along with Blowin’ Me Up), I disliked this at first but in the context of the album it’s one of many great tracks. Could be written about tATu or Madonna/Britney/Xtina!
2. She Got Me
This is a good opener for the unreleased songs on the album because it gives a very good idea of the style of the rest of the CD. It’s quite poppy – one of the lighter tracks. I love the chorus (“She was driving through space and time”) and the “oohoohooh”s. I think this is what a 4th NSync album would sound like as it’s got plenty of r’n’b-ness and even a Jacko-esque bit at the end for JT but still rules in JC’s own special way.
3. 100 Ways
The guitars in this are fantastic (bring back the old TOTP theme tune now!) and the lyrics are typically rude too. The highlight is “I’ll be your Superman and you my Lois Lane” and there seems to be at least 3 JCs speaking their minds at all times. Going to be difficult to perform live!
This seems to be one of those songs with one long chorus throughout the song. At least half the lines are “I need mercy” (said “mercay”). The hook gets catchier the more times you hear it and I do like the lyrics in the chorus (“It’s the insanity eating up the man in me”). There’s that insanity obsession again!
5. Build My World
This is the first JC solo song I heard apart from Blowin’ Me Up and it’s a sweet and not too Westlifey ballad, but as with ‘N Sync the slow songs are not his strong point and this is a bit dull and too sentimental.
6. Something Special
A very interesting track. It’s cheery acoustic-pop whilst stickign with the sexy urban sound of the rest of the record, until suddenly JC gets bored of that and starts whistling, then there a few seconds of handclaps followed by the rest of the song, which is mainly “na na na”s. Another George Michael – Faithesque track as there seem to be so many of at the moment (See Scissor Sisters and V).
7. If You Were My Girl
I decided on first listen that this was my favourite track. The backing music is fantastic and the bridge is full of momentum, just as I like them. The chorus is a little bit of an anticlimax then but still ace. This middle section of the album is certainly the peak.
8. Shake It
In return for providing vocals on their single Plug It In, Basement Jaxx produced this track for JC and it’s a pretty fair trade as although this isn’t quite as tremendous as PII it’s electro-fabulous. Would have fit well on Kish Kash but is great here too.
9. All Day Long I Dream About Sex
This is, as the title suggests, very rude yet it’s rudeness makes it memorable. It sounds like an 80s version of the Bloodhound Gang’s catchy and equallly dirty hit The Bad Touch. Any track tha tbegins with the words “So you wanna be a rock star” gets the thumbs up from me. You might have seen JC perform that on Wade Robson’s Dance Project. Hopefully your mother wasn’t in the room!
10. One Night Stand
This samples Donna Summer’s I Feel Love and although it’s pretty good it so far doesn’t stand out to me. Then again I’m usually too busy getting over the excitement of the previous track to pay much attention to this one. There are talky bits with a girl which are good fun. Girl: “Yeah, cos you’re so smooth” JC: “I know!” Comes complete with sound effects appropriate to the title.
11. Come To Me
This has some pretty rude lines in it (surprise) but apart from that isn’t quite as poptastically ace or memorable as the other tracks. Sounds like the type to be a grower though as it is slightly hypnotic. It is one of the darker, dancier tracks on the record and I love the way he says “catastrophe” as though it end with an é, although that probably wasn’t the aim.
12. Dear Goodbye
The 2nd of the 3 ballads on the album and probably the best. Still not very exciting, but there are a few big shouty bits where JC gets to show that he can really sing. He does sound a bit like Lee Ryan though…
13. Everything You Want
I was surprised to find that this has a sort of reggae style and even more surprised to find that I love it, as I can’t stand reggae music usually. Different to the other tracks but still sounding similar enough to fit and his voice sounds fantastic. I love the line “What’s love and who needs it anyway?”
14. Lose Myself
The 3rd and final ballad, this one is similar to the other 2 but very pretty sounding. A nicer sound than Dear Goodbye but not terribly exciting. Similar to the solemn, souly tracks that collected around the end of Celebrity and could actually be a Justified album track in disguise.
15. Right Here (By Your Side)
I keep forgetting how this song goes, but I think that is due to the amount of excellent tracks here rather than it being rubbish, which it isn’t. It’s kind of mid-tempo and fairly sweet and innocent for JC’s standards.
16. Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love)
Anyway, this is the other half of a double a-side with Some Girls (Dance With Women to be released soon, and it’s already doing pretty well on the music channels. The video stars JC’s girlfriend at the time, film star Tara Reid and was actually on the soundtrack to the movie Drumline about a boy who plays drums in a marching band. There’s a great bit where the song slows down and goes all twinkly, and “disco lights on a friday night” is the best way to describe the object of your affections in a long time.
17. Some Girls (Dance With Women) ft. Dirt McGirt
It’s bracket-tastic around this bit of the album! Same as track one but with added pointless rap. *skip*
I’ve just realised this post is very long. I was wondering why I felt like I’d written an essay. So to anyone not interested in JC (if they exist), I apologise.