FRIDAY, APRIL 08, 2011 |
Posted by: Joe Puglisi
Jamaica's No Problem is like the pop-rock of 2025. Its synthesis of neo-funk and hook driven electro-babble may draw comparisons to another notable group of Frenchies who sing in English, but this sound is far from "1901". It's the future of feet-moving frenzied rock and roll; catchy, quirky, and as infectious as a virus in an elementary school. And this is one bug you probably want to catch.
In the quest for cool sounds, playing with guitar effects is always a respectable avenue, but very few pull it off with a combination of exotic and accessible. Jamaica's almost dance-like sound is perfect, guitars as the screechy noises you hear during Digitalism songs, all set to their well-oiled songwriting (Daft Punk's sound engineer might have something to do with it). Hooks are flying left and right like a boxing match, "I Think I Like U", "By The Numbers", "When Do You Wanna Stop", nearly every song has a permanently regurgitate-able melodic line. Even their ballads are pure, classic fun; "She's Gonna" is like a Beatles track run through a tilt lens and burnt at the edges. It's not much more complicated than that, and the simplicity of their coolest nuances is what makes the band so engaging.
One of the more impressive qualities of Jamaica is their consistency. The band's work reads like a band with a solid definition, rather than a young act exploring their sound through various means of creation and development. The songs each retain their own distinctive simple "gotcha" phrases, but like great album creators like The Arcade Fire (not that the two are anywhere near each other in style or subject), you can hear the same melodic lines weaving in and out of the larger work, kind of like a motif returning again and again in variation. When this manifests in pop music, its usually due to a lack of ideas, and comes off as boring or unoriginal. Here, it's a welcome development in an already fun and light-hearted romp, like the icing on an already awesome cake. No Problem might as well be a mission statement; Jamaica is taking it easy and having fun. We have no problem with that.