I remember the first time I heard of Luscious Jackson. It was in the 90s of course, because as we all know, the 90s ruled music wise (don’t deny it.). I was watching MTV, back when they used to spotlight new bands during their MTV News segments. And I thought, “that’s the weirdest name for a band – Luscious Jackson” but I was completely fascinated by them. An all female band out of NY, that was a mix of r&b, hip-hop, a little bit of rock, and dance was kind of foreign back then. I had heard of Sleater Kinney, another female band, and of course Hole, among other female bands, but not one of them sounded remotely like LJ. This was also around the time I was listening to an array of music, not just hip hop and r&b anymore. I decided to check them out further and seek out their music, which unfortunately, wasn’t to be found anywhere in my area of Maryland. You must remember, this was way before itunes and napster-dom. I never forgot the name though, and stored them back in my head for future music store visits.
Fast forward a few years later. I was in college and my very first night I was in the dorm, I made friends with two buddies who, to my surprise, not only had heard of Luscious but had their EP, In Search of Manny. I must admit, I was still a cassette junkie then. So I asked to borrow their EP and made a copy of it on cassette. I was instantly hooked. Their style of music was danceable, melodic, and still had an r&b and hip hop sound that really to this day, I haven’t heard anyone try to master. I became an instant fan, purchasing (yes, back when people BOUGHT albums) Fever In, Fever Out, Natural Ingredients, and Electric Honey over the next few years. They never strayed far from the formula – it worked and I was amongst the cult following. Songs like Naked Eye, Why Do I Lie? City Song, Ladyfingers, etc, filled up my mix cds, and cassettes. It was nice to come back from a bad day of classes and have them to look forward to listening to chill out, or to bob the head – either way, they did the trick. Then before I knew it, they were gone. They went their separate ways doing various projects, and I thought there was no chance of their ever being heard from again. The record industry was beginning to suffer due to illegal downloading, labels were folding – including LJ’s, bands were being let go, and my favorite funk band was not meant to escape from such effects. I guess they decided to call it quits before it got worse. I thought, “welp, that’s it from them.”
Fast forward to 2013.
A trio now, Luscious Jackson returned with Magic Hour, to the sounds of rejoice from the inner 90s teens buried in adults like myself. This album almost picks up where the other albums left off – dance, hip hop beats, light and airy vocals. I couldn’t have asked for a better album. I have to say this is truly one of the best highlights of 2013 to me. The only thing I disliked was there were only 10 songs. Funded by Pledge Music campaign fans, this was a return to form. There is not one bad song on this album. At all. Not one. All of them are fantastic. My ears are always delighted when my ipod plays one of these songs. I don’t know why LJ came back, but as a 90s kid that didn’t have a ton of female bands to look up to, I truly thank Kate, Jill, and Gabby for their return. You all have been sorely missed. My favorite songs: So Rock On, Aaw, Turn it Up, #1 Bum, Love is Alive. But really the whole freaking album is fantastic. And it will definitely to turn up in my top albums list of 2013 which I’m still working on at the present. But until that blog appears, go listen to Luscious Jackson. Their past stuff is just as good. You won’t be disappointed.
Classic Luscious Jackson:
From Magic Hour:
Follow me here if you tumble.. —> www.bondworks.tumblr.com