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Jaga Jazzist - The Stix CD (album) cover

THE STIX

Jaga Jazzist

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.74 | 23 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The Stix had the unfortunate fate to follow up the band's ingenious breakthrough release A Livingroom Hush which made Jaga Jazzist consider quite a few new possibilities. First off, the direction of this release had to either be settled between going even further with the style that was set previously or to play around and experiment with new directions. The band chose the latter. Secondly, the balance between the jazz and electronica, that was so perfectly calibrated previously, was now targeted more towards new electronica sounds at an ultimate expense of the more prominent jazz melodies. These two new rearrangements of the now acclaimed Jaga Jazzist sound is what makes The Stix a sight disappointment for me.

Granted that A Livingroom Hush was indeed a difficult act to follow, the addition of new industrial beats and funky rhythms didn't really add anything all that interesting to the band's sound. This material will be even more difficult to digest for anyone expecting to hear Jazz Rock/Fusion and instead getting an album filled with compositions that sounds more like something out of the Progressive Electronic genre. But, all criticism aside, this is still a pretty interesting release even though it might have pushed Jaga Jazzist's music a step back. Even if I find many of the added rhythmic enhancements to be a bit to harsh on my ears it's undeniable that the band had put a great deal of effort into these compositions. The final product might be flawed with but compositions like the bouncy Another Day and Reminders, with it's softer brass work, are still great reminders of just how great Jaga Jazzist can be once the band members align their ambitions and work together.

This album serves as a reminder that any attempts at enhancing ones sound while making a follow up release will prove to seem haste and uninspired (hence, the transitional album). Luckily there is always the next release that gives the artist or a band a chance to take another stab at the direction they were pursuing and in Jaga Jazzist's case The Stix is definitely an inferior album compared to the groundwork that was created on A Livingroom Hush. Still it doesn't mean that this release is an automatic throwaway since the creativity that the band shows here makes up for most of its flaws.

***** star songs: Another Day (3:30) Reminders (6:45)

**** star songs: Kitty Wu (4:37) Day (3:08) Suomi Finland (7:29) I Could Have Killed Him In The Sauna (5:33) Aerial Bright Dark Round (5:08) Doppelganer (4:47) The Stix (7:02)

*** star songs: Toxic Dart (5:21)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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