Name of Album: Lovebox
Ratings: Personal - 2 General - 3
Release Date: 01/21/03
I was quite looking forward to reviewing Groove Armada's latest release Lovebox having been enamored by their last offering, Goodbye Country, Hello Nightclub. It is an album which I had played everywhere. Anywhere from my acoustically perfect underground soundlab (the basement of my home in Bloomfield) to the vanity capsule of my mother's Lexus while cruising up and down the West coast from Silicon Valley to Columbus Avenue in Frisco, during my last visit to Cali.
So, although I am not in love with Lovebox, I will give the British duo that is Groove Armada credit for being versatile and escaping the juggernaut of musical complicity that artists fall victim to once they discover popularity with a trademark groove. Apparently, this is not the case with Groove Armada, which continues to its foray into new territory with this rock-edged release.
Their opening track, Purple Haze, is anything but amorous, for I felt like I had opened up Pandora's Box, rather than the love box. Although I enjoy classic rock, I am not as appreciative of contemporary electronic versions when I am not expecting it. Track two, Groove is On, reminds me of Macy Gray's second release, the S&M album, which I did not take to either.
Track 3, Remember, is b-side Paris Lounge, mantra music for the opium den and sounds like a drug god's decree telling my mind to surrender to lethargy.
Madder begins to reveal how GA was in a crusty mood when producing this newest release, for there is a hard edge which runs through this song which is almost the antithetical anthem to their last album.
Neneh Cherry provides a melancholic chant on Think Twice, the accompanying instrumental which reminds me of a mellow mix of John Lennon's Imagine and Elton John's Rocket Man.
Final Shakedown, is a house dance track which although it beats the shit out of the underlying beat which runs through this track it is still certain to get some play in club land. This track is also much closer to what it was that I had expected to hear.
Both Hands of Time, an R&B soul meets Lenny Kravitz tune, and Tuning In, something of the same ilk without as much soul, barely get honorable mentions because, as with a lot of these haphazard albums, it is difficult to get in the groove of listening if you are audibly jumping around all over the place.
In turn, it came as no surprise when they switched the dial to something akin to a mediocre Bee Gees disco-house hit with their song Easy.
Towards the close of this act on wax, we get the title song, Lovebox, which sounds a lot like an allusive remix of Jody Watley's Follow Me.
The finale, But I Feel Good, is a ragamuffin chorus mixed with a few token lines of a bloke rapping something about "Friday," a song which I had high hopes for, hoping it might add redeeming value to Lovebox, but which ultimately shuts the lid on this Pandora's box of discordant music. I suppose that's how love goes.
Favorite Song: NA