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Jaga Jazzist - What We Must CD (album) cover

WHAT WE MUST

Jaga Jazzist

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 51 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars After overusing the drum machines and other effects on The Stix, Jaga Jazzist did another 180 degree turn with their 2005-release What We Must where they almost completely abandoned the style and went into a regular band direction. Incidentally, this was also my introduction to the band that did manage to leave quite enough impression on me to make me want to pursue the rest of their discography. Unfortunately time hasn't been all that kind to this release and listening to it today doesn't bring me as much joy since I now know what this band is actually capable of!

What We Must shows a complete departure from the already well-established sound that made Jaga Jazzist famous with the critics that hailed them to be one of the most innovative new jazz acts out there. This release has very little jazz or electronic music, instead it has now been exchanged for almost post-rock sounding direction with few distinct melodies and much more atmospheric feel. This isn't necessary a bad thing per se, but I know so many other great bands that excel in this genre by focusing on the razor sharp atmospheric flow of their work. That's not really the case here since Jaga Jazzist is still trying to retain some of their former glory while pushing things into a new direction. Generally, that's not a wise decision since pure and simple music tends to work better than excessive over-layering of sounds and textures. What I'm basically saying here is that this music sounds overdone.

After being very impressed by this album previously, now I can't even find one exceptionally good composition to highlight the few moments that actually work. Instead I have to resort to pointing out a few instances like the first parts of Stardust Hotel, Mikado and the last 2/3 of I Have A Ghost, Now What? as some of this releases highpoints. This is quite unfortunate since there is definitely at least half a good album in here if you put together bits and pieces out of every composition.

***** star songs: I Have a Ghost, Now What? (7:35)

**** star songs: All I Know is Tonight (7:51) Stardust Hotel (6:15) Swedenborgske Rom (8:47) Mikado (6:05)

*** star songs: For All You Happy People (3:58) Oslo Skyline (5:32)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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