Fans Of Jimmy Century go all out for this latest album in bringing audiences a complex, colourful, energetic and catchy collection of theatrically crafted songs that scream out for audience participation.
All My Friends Are Ice Queens is the opener, the single, and the first song of their’s I stumbled upon. Where on paper this is a stage-like presentation of melody and vibrancy, complete with scenes and various moments of movement, in reality the song itself is incredibly memorable and close to impossible not to like. The hook melody in particular has a satisfying, addictive quality, and this meeting between the leading voice and the retro-jazz-inspired instrumentation seems perfectly suited to the underlying sentiment and energy of the track. The key line is so unusual that the effect multiplies and makes certain you’ll recognise it next time around.
Elsewhere on the album, expect infectious levels of rhythm and more of that retro energy – often in the form of classic dance vibes. Tigra Girl is all of this, a slightly tribal, energetic and looping collection of moments that burst through with a vintage EDM aura after the opener. Best Of My Generation (Johnny Rotten) follows and vamps up the electronic rock edge but keeps the rhythm and pace constant and seemingly ever-increasing. A dash of hip hop adds further to the duo’s inherent eclecticism, but still you know where you are – there are threads that make this FOJC.
From a songwriting perspective, even with the uncommon musicality – the often gamer-like instrumentation – many if not most of these songs have some brilliantly memorable, enjoyable and potentially timeless hooks and peaks. Hot Sahara makes for a fine example, partly familiar and partly unique – the concept, the soundscape. It’s an easy hook to connect with and recognise, and the music itself fills the room perfectly well for those late nights of indefinite dancing.
Liquid Chill is a personal favourite and offers a slightly Gorillaz-like bounce and level of colour that’s a joy to have play for you. Ghosts Of Paradise follows and mellows things out with a thoughtful string of lyrics and a slightly more emotional mood. The contrast as things shift here works really well. A great song. The album wins you over more and more so as it progresses.
During the latter half, Together in White Leather (Dolce Vita) stands out for its distorted riffs and the stop-start rhythm of the vocal. It’s a big track, energizing and uplifting in its portrayal of togetherness. Cherry Drops is enjoyable in a more subtle, electro-pop manner – something of a grower, less intense but recognisable in its own modest way.
Noirstar (Memories Of His City) is a fascinating song and offers a fitting musical softness that lets you really ponder the story-line and the ideas within. This is another highlight as it feels a little more personal and thoughtfully provocative at its core. There’s depth to the story and it captivates throughout.
The acoustic recording of Milky Way makes for a welcomed moment of realness – you’re reminded of the band as the artists they are, in their purest form. Again, there’s emotion and personal intimacy here – you feel closer to the music and the writers behind it. It’s a beautiful recording that simultaneously calms and compels the listener to think a little more deeply.
The acoustic Choirgang mix of Ghosts Of Paradise offers a similar moment of raw, acoustic brilliance – you appreciate the lead singer’s purity and honesty even more so. A gorgeous take and an absolute final highlight. Again, this is a joy to listen to, heartfelt and open, but perhaps it works so well thanks to its contrast with the weight and multi-layered complexity of the rest of the album. In either case, Fans Of Jimmy Century are an unmissable act right now, entertaining and interesting in equal parts. A live show is a must.