Basement Jaxx – Crazy Itch Radio

Basement JaxxLooking back, I’ve realised that the fourth album from Basement Jaxx, Crazy Itch Radio, wasn’t really heralded in the music press that much. It was almost as if people were thinking, “Another good Jaxx album, big deal”. Maybe their average set headlining Glastonbury a few years ago kinda put people off them a bit. Which is a shame. Whereas the other big dance acts of the late 90’s (Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Faithless) have put out less than great albums, Basement Jaxx put out a best of a few years ago which was jam packed with great songs, a testament to their great run of three excellent albums.

So, post “best of”, what do the duo do now. Well, how about a concept album about a couple’s boozy relationship in the form of a radio broadcast? Well… ok. To be honest, the concept is slight and actually means the song writing on the tracks here is some of the strongest on a Basement Jaxx album. And the radio broadcast is limited to a few short jingles in-between tracks. Tracks like soulful disco “Hush Boy” ( a tale of an abortive meal at a Mexican restaurant) is full of great details; “the food was due/I had a chicken fajita”. There’s a couple bung notes though, “Run 4 Cover” just irritated me. “Smoke Bubbles” glides past without making much of an impression.

But these are more than made up for by “Lights Go Down”, a late night track if ever there was one. the choir in the background just adds something to the track with makes it really good. Crazy Itch Radio doesn’t hit the heights of previous Jaxx albums, as there’s not one, excellant stand-out track that just grabs you instantly. But if you give the album a couple of listens, then it reveals itself as a much more rounded album, there’s some lows, no doubt but the highs make up for it. Bottom line; this is Basement Jaxx’s fourth album and they haven’t recorded a bad one yet.

Basement Jaxx – Take Me Back To Your House:


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