It’s been almost 8 years since Jamiroquai’s diverse album “Dynamite”, and 2 years since their latest release “Rock Dust Light Star”. Although there is a 5 year “gap” between the two albums, it matters little: Jamiroquai once again managed to come out with a pretty decent release, one that is “immune” to the changes in music industry.
The first track of the album is the title one, “Rock Dust Light Star”. This song might remind the listener of the ”Travelling Without Moving“ era. The second track is White Knuckle Ride, some hi-octane stuff basically about Jay’s life, in terms of the lyrics. The song has a very catching groove, somewhat like Jamiroquai’s dance floor classics “Alright”, “Cosmic Girl”, “Little L” or “Canned Heat”, making this tune an instant classic itself.
“Smoke & Mirrors” is the album’s next masterpiece. The chorus and the last part of the track where the vocalists and the horns play along with Jay are tremendous! “Two Completely Different Things” and “All Good In The Hood” give the listener nothing new, but nevertheless, Jamiroquai’s experience makes these tunes sound nice too.
The middle section of the album contains some weaker tracks like “Hurtin’” which is a slower number where Jay’s voice gets a bit throaty and the background gospel-like vocals sound a bit out of place. While the ballad “Blue Skies” isn’t on of the band’s peak performances, another great track is “Lifeline”, which starts with some “King For A Day”-reminiscent strings switching to a lounge sound and then to a lovely piano-driven chorus. This track is another highlight of the album.
The next songs are more “classical” Jamiroquai tunes. “She’s A Fast Persuader” is a rather instrumental song, having a great trumpet solo and a funky bass and percussion breakdown that are reminiscent of the first two albums’ sound, like for example in “Space Cowboy”. “Goodbye To My Dancer” is a funkier song with guitars somewhat like in “Love Foolosophy”, backed up by some outstanding bongo rhythms. “Never Gonna Be Another” is again a slower track, but a nice listen, something like “Everyday” or “Tallulah”.
The final track “Hey Floyd” is quite a surprise, with some pure African-stlye drum rhythms and piano in the beginning, before bursting into more common sound in the chorus, then switching to a ska-like part, and then back again. Even though it may sound a bit too much, the track manages to flow smoothly and remain interesting.
In terms of lyrics, Jay switches from the typical love themes to the life retrospectives throughout the album, like in “White Knuckle Ride” and “Lifeline”, but it’s the music that guides here really, rather than the words.
Overall, a great comeback album with an interesting diversity that makes you listen to Jamiroquai once again.