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JJ72 JJ72 (2000 UK 12-track CD album featuring their debut album including the singles October Swimmer Snow and Algeria picture sleeve LAKCD017)
They met at a strict Catholic boarding-school. They're not yet able to cultivate facial hair. They sound quite a lot like Placebo. Oh, there are a lot of reasons for the uncharitable music fan to dislike JJ72, that's for sure. Yet for the ever-present constituency of angst-ridden youth, JJ72 is undoubtedly some sort of landmark. Forget Brian Molko's pervier-than-thou pretensions, and ignore the Manic's Nicky Wire, content to a life of sterile domestic bliss--this youthful trio are their audience; generously cheek-boned, comfortably middle-class and shamelessly intense. So actually, in truth, there's something unmistakably prim and precious about JJ72 that aligns them more with the well-scrubbed likes of Coldplay than Molko's angst-rock troupe. But sadly, while "October Swimmer" and "Oxygen" have their refreshingly high-brow moments--think the overwrought poetry, if not the clinical horror, of The Holy Bible-era Manic Street Preachers--there's a little bit too much mewling pretention on show for JJ72 to really cut it outside the Sixth Form common rooms of Britain. --Louis Pattison
Top Customer Reviews
But listen to the sound and something primitive happens - perhaps linked to personal memories or points in time - but utterly fantastic and the best songs grip you to the bone.
The opening trio deliveries a huge scope of emotions and drains the listener over the course of 9 mins. October Swimmer is spiky and energetic, while Undercover Angel begins delicate and melodic before exploding in sheer emotion for the angst-wracked chorus. Oxygen is contender for indie-song of the year, managing to take a handful of guitar chords and a few violins and turn them into an emotional masterpiece.
The listener is then lulled into a false sense of security as delicate acoustic Willow kicks in. Just when you think Greaney's calmed down a bit, you're exposed to Surrender, a huge epic cacophony of screaming guitars and synthesizers, followed by the equally chaotic Long Way Suth with its pounding drums and frenetic vocals.
Fourth single Snow is an emotive rock ballad, but what comes next is the triumph of the whole album. Two songs, Broken Down and Improv, both incredible, both 4 minutes of sheer emotion. Broken Down is nothing but a continous refrain of Mark Greaney's guitar and his utterly amazing voice, one minute gentle and angsty, the next screeching falsetto. Improv is a gentle acoustic ballad of desolation and despair where Greaney's voice is once again put to great effect.Finally we have the first disappointment, Not Like You, and huge rock anthem Algeria. The album closes with Bumble Bee, mournful gentle verses shattered by pure noise in the chorus.
So, don't forget the name JJ72. Beautiful, atmospheric, emotional, intense, depressing and uplifting all at once. A stunning piece of work.
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 not. After listening to it, I stopped thinking why not, and starting to think why I hadn't bought it before. Okay, it slips easily into the catergory of Placebo-esque teen angst post grunge rock, but it's done brilliantly. It's a debut, so some things can be forgiven, and the fact that this album has a certain depth to it for me dismisses any idea that they are trying to be another Manic Street Preachers, it seems they are concerntrating to hard on being themselves.
Melodic, dark, sincere, and full of emotion, this variation on the the soft-loud-soft formula works, if not mostly due to the guys vocals. It definately whiffs of a 'finding our feet' album, and yes, all the usuall comparisons will be drawn, but a great listen and full of promise for future ventures.
`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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
JJ72 this CD took me back, some of my fave songs ever, great music by a great band, similar to Muse!Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by Andrew
JJ72 were their own band - Mark Greaneys vocals are unique, even to this day. Blistering album that sounds as fresh now as when it came out 10 years ago. Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2010 by Jdean1967
Every year I buy around 100 cds, mostly from amazon. I buy classics (led zeppelin, nick cave etc), artists i know and albums i don't know just because there're in a listmania list... Read morePublished on 14 July 2010 by Penguinus
I recieved this CD as a present 10 years ago and have listened to it regularly ever since. I brought this as a present and the recipient was thrilled. Read morePublished on 19 May 2010 by Sarah B
I can't belive it 60 reviews already and I can't fine any one who has heard of them never mind heard anything by them. Read morePublished on 11 April 2010 by Stephen
I bought this CD because i had heard JJ72 compared to Muse so i thought i'd try it out. I found very few simiarities between them and JJ72 are certinly not up to the standard of... Read morePublished on 19 May 2006 by Hunter