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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Great Great!!
This album is the best thing to come out of Ireland since Guinness. It really is the dog's. THE album of last year, combining thrashing rock music with gentle ballads that really bring out the singer's very soul. This is an album that lets you know winter's coming, and you'd better be ready, cos it's coming in hard. The singer (not sure of the name) has an amazingly...
Published on 25 Jan 2001

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little nugget of surprise
With Muse's career hitting ceiling at the moment it's easy to forget about these guys. To be honest, I did. It was god knows how long ago this album came out, and I can't help but think that at the time, I thought them annoying, and ignored it.
But shuffling through a box of CD's in a Pawn shop in Brighton I came accross JJ72's debut for 3.50 and thought, well why...
Published on 8 Dec 2003 by R. Cook


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Great Great!!, 25 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
This album is the best thing to come out of Ireland since Guinness. It really is the dog's. THE album of last year, combining thrashing rock music with gentle ballads that really bring out the singer's very soul. This is an album that lets you know winter's coming, and you'd better be ready, cos it's coming in hard. The singer (not sure of the name) has an amazingly powerful voice and an outstanding falsetto. Wait till you hear him scream "Why won't it snow like they said it would?" at the top of his voice. The stand out tracks on this album are October Swimmer, Undercover Angel and Snow. Amazing tracks from a very, very good band that don't get as much credit as they should. I cannot find a thing wrong with this album. Aside from Definitely Maybe and Word Gets Around, probably the greatest debut album of all time. I really cannot praise it enough in 1000 words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!, 9 Nov 2010
By 
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
JJ72 blasted onto the stale British rock scene in the late 90s, early 00s with a collection of incredible live performances and singles culminating in the release of their assured debut. While mature isn't the right word to describe what is going on here the band belie their young age creating an album of rock excellence, harking back to Nirvana and Joy Division, but with a new tenderness and falsetto vocals. We have a sublime collection of songs which, while still stand as anthems today, hinted at a potentially great future band. As happens all too frequently the Irish trio would never top what they gave here and soon faded into obscurity. The soft verse/heavy chorus approach works a treat here and the singles are as huge as you would want from any rock band. Melodically tasty, lyrically tender, pained, and admittedly teen at times this is a debut which makes a mockery of many of the bands which did `make it'. Get it now and judge for yourself.

`October Swimmer' opens the album and introduces every facet of the band. The vocals, both soft and unbelievably loud, the wonderful melodies and ear for a hit, the skilful guitars, and the explosion from quiet to LOUD. This was a big hit for the band, but they were unfortunately labeled as the next Radiohead rather than leaving them to do their own thing. The trio manage to make a fine racket with Hilary's thumping bass, Mark's guitar static, and Fergal's accomplished drums. This is one of the defining anthems of the new decade.

`Undercover Angel' opens with a soulful riff before strings and vocals create the perfect verse. The lyrics tell a simple tale of devotion until the chorus offers an explosive twist. Like many of the songs here they take on a new life on stage becoming headbanging anthems with more force than even the greatest metal bands can reach. Exquisite vocals and power chords abound.

`Oxygen' does the impossible by completing a trio of flawless anthems. Again we get a tame opener with gentle, minor vocals hinting at a possibly bigger sound. After a second verse full of strings we get the blast of sound we've been wanting and try to screech along with the insanely huge chorus.

`Willow' gives us a break from the quiet/loud dynamic and is one of the most tender love songs of the decade. Enormously fragile, everything about the song sounds like it would break if a butterfly glided by it. Lovely strings back some beautiful melodies to make a song which will dig its way into your very being and refuse to leave. This again is close to perfection.

`Surrender' takes us on a different path with some other worldly vocals. The song's impact like a few others here has lessened over time but still sound awesome if you can find good live versions.

`Long Way South' opens with some irritating drum noises (why they didn't just use normal drums I'll never know) but thankfully the great melodies and lyrics can cover this. This is mostly a fun, jumpy song which revolves in a loop with an interesting middle section but again it becomes a different beast when performed on stage.

`Snow' is one of the band's most famous tracks, bringing us back to the quiet/loud style. A wonderful opening riff leads into some angst filled but honest, embarrassment free lyrics with the pre-requisite gleeful melodies. As always the chorus blows the seats out of the stadium with lyrics begging to be deciphered. We deal with aging, mistrust, childhood, adulthood, and most importantly some great guitars and tunes.

`Broken Down' is a strange one, with affecting lyrics and a building tone. The early portion is simply dense vocals sung alongside a lonely, reverb packed guitar which echoes the vocal melody. The chorus is an exercise in vocals with the guitars struggling to match the power. This is haunting stuff and an oft looked over track.

`Improv' is another ever so gentle song which starts off like a China Doll and grows to terrifying emotional peaks. This one is sadly forgotten amongst the bigger hits on the album but is packed with force and melody. The only issue is that, like the songs which bracket this one, it sounds like a Mark solo piece as there appear to be little or no drums or bass.

`Not Like You' continues the gentle style with an angst ridden tale of love and weakness. Effortlessly melodic, this has a Christmas, or at least a Winter feel to it, the rhythm feels like ballroom dance and there are some strong lyrics.

`Algeria' picks up the pace again with a Joy Division-esque song without the bleak tone. This is fun overall with enjoyable lyrics, a building pace which begs you to throw yourself off the walls and a chorus to blast out till your lungs make you regret it. Based around Camus, particularly The Outsider (although you wouldn't guess it) this is full of weird effects and distorted guitars.

`Bumblebee' saves the best till last. This is the track to end any gig and though it is fairly heavy here, nothing compares to the live experience. It would be stretched to 10 minutes or beyond while the band ripped apart the stage. It is the epitome of the quiet/loud dynamic with a verse which encourages you to turn the volume up. If you do though, prepare to have your face ripped off when the chorus emerges; it is a rampant expulsion of anger and despair in a few seconds of crushing noise, stretched out for the final part of the song in the ending to end all endings.

Of all the new rock debuts of the decade this ranks amongst the best and is probably my personal favourite. I think it tops My Vitriol's first and has more power than Showbiz by Muse. If you missed it first time round, go for it now as it hasn't aged a second. For fans of any of the bands I've mentioned, or even the Manics or Smashing Pumpkins you should find a lot here to appreciate. The band's next album would not receive the airplay or the label backing that this one did and even though it was even more accomplished than this it fell under the radar pretty quickly. This remains one of my favourite albums of the decade and is timeless in its pain and joy. Aside from the emotion there are some damn great songs too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars possibly the ultimate in the rock and roll revolution, 11 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
Never since the halcien days of the magical Smiths or the masters of "reverb" The Jesus and Mary chain have i heard such a compilation of revolutionary brilliance as this ground breaking offering from the individually and collectivley outstanding JJ72.From the first track this oozes class of the highest calibre and only possibly with the exeption of maybe two offerings this suggests we are in the midst of one of the finest pieces of modern day music i have had the pleasure to listen to, time and time again. Haunting vocal melody and passion coupled with a bass player who must stand high and above the greatest in her time this is a recording of pure genious, real passion and a poet lyric offered possibly by a misguided delusion of grandure, which in all is JJ72. Never since i became hooked on Jeff Buckley did i think i would find something that would play repeatedly on my cd player, that was until this brilliant compilation.I look forward to whats to come, don't make me wait long for the next and keep it loud and proud
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very promising, 30 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
With a voice like that you would think that Mark Greaney would have the courage to use it a bit more often. This album manages to sucessfully fall straight between two stools without actually being that bad. Slower songs like Willow and Improv are real turn off, even for a manic depressive, and yet the more upbeat numbers like Oxygen and Snow are excellent pop songs. The one outstanding thing is however the brashness of the final track Bumble Bee. Finally the vocals reach the screaming creshendo that the rest of the CD promises, and with excellent backing from an inventivve piece of drumming and frenzied guitar playing, this song really makes your blood pump faster. Worth the album just for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mind-blowing combination of soft rock and incredible vocals, 22 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
at first the song which hits you, which is also the debut single, released in summer/autumn 2000, is 'oxygen'. the incredible technique this band has used creates a perfectly balanced and mind-blowing 5 minutes, which takes the listeners breath away. this is then followed by 'October Swimmer', a softer, yet equally enthralling sound, which gets better every time you hear it. these two songs are encapsulated within an album which improves with every listen, ultimately creating an incredible hour or so, which is worth far more than your everyday pop group's effort. amazing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutly brill, 4 Dec 2000
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
Even though I live near Dublin, I had never heard of JJ72 until I saw them on T.V. performing october swimmer and was immediately hooked. This album and band are very special indeed. All the songs on this album are great but having seen them performing live on T.V. it's obvious the raw energy is missing from the recorded version. I can't wait to see them live, to improve on near perfection, what more could I ask for. I just love this album and feel that it's one of those rare music treats that comes along once every so often and has a different personal emotive effect on whoever is lucky enough to listen to it. It is a beautiful gem. Without reservation buy it, it's definitly special.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 17 Nov 2000
By 
M. Fantino (San Francisco, California USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
I haven't felt this excited about an album since picking up the Pixies' Come On Pilgrim (and again when The Stone Roses had their debut). This one couldn't have come at a better time, I had the same five stale CD's in my player for weeks and everyday, I'd get up, put on my slippers and stand in front of my towering CD collection with the blankest of blank stares. It seems, for me anyway, that I have outplayed everything. Scary, huh.
I picked this one up many times at the store simply because the cover looked a little Joy Divisionesque. That's not a good enough hunch to go on, I know. But, as it turns out, JJ72's debut is quite a gem. It has a very friendly and cozy brit-pop feel, like Radiohead's Pablo Honey, and has the obscurity of a hidden secret ('cept in the U.K., where they are the biggest thing since ... hair).
The songs are instantly seductive and catchy, with underlying lyrics that make you wonder what's wrong with your life. Each song has a very autumnal aura to it, like they are beautiful fire-colored leaves fallen from your favorite childhood tree. There's not a bad song on the whole album.
I have the feeling they will become quite big in the rest of the world too, soon enough (certainly Japan). If I were you, I'd pick up this album now, so, later, when they are gigantic, you can say you were there first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars melancholic revolutionary sounds from the heart, 12 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
Sounds different live but as good in a more rockier way but this album is perfect, maybe too good. Although i love every song i prefer the live sound with a rougher edge that relly adds emphasis to superb melodies which are supported by inciteful and revealing lyrics
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definatly A Must Buy!, 10 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
I love every song on this album, the music is brilliant Mark, Hilary and Fergal are all excellent musicians and I would certianly put my money on the table that they are going to grow up in to one of Britains best bands. To be honest it would be hard to pick a favorite song from this album because they are all great but I suppose it would have to be out of 'Oxygen', 'Long Way South' and 'Snow'. I took a risk in buying this album because I had only heard 'Oxygen', I didn't expect the album to be as good as it is but i'm so glad I brought it now because they have become my favorite band and I'll be sure to buy their next album straight away and so should you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have wasted my life!, 7 Oct 2000
By 
This review is from: JJ72 (Audio CD)
Never before has a voice done this to me, a twisted genius of an album with ups and downs to toy with your emotions. Turn it up,turn off the lights and pour a drink, feeling down? put it on, the songs will play with your emotions, it will wrap its arms around you and soothe your troubled mind. In the words of N-Sync BUY BUY BUY!
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