6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smoldering
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multiple Listening
B: Deserves Another Spin
C: Once Should Suffice

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JACKNIFE LEE - Punk Rock High Roller (Palm Pictures)
This big beat laden experience explodes with style, attitude, class and humour. For a moment I thought it was
Beck in disguise (the vocal similarity uncanny). Jacknife Lee is very funky, refreshing and absolutely irresistible, as it blends a range of retro ingredients with modern technology and an updated groove. The ďpunk rockĒ is more in the attitude than the music itself.
- PB
5 / A

LANCE JAMES - 20 Gewildste Treffers (BMG)
Lance must be the best known and longest surviving SA coutry star. On this collection weíre given all of his Afrikaans hits (that he pulls off pretty well, seeing as itís not his first language). Songs like Dankie, Hantamberge, Groen Koringlande en Ou Pelgrimsrus will satisfy all his fans. An Irish medley is thrown in for good measure as well as 4 English tracks.
- PB
3 / C

JARS OF CLAY - If I Left The Zoo (EMI)
With a touch of the college rock brush, these believers get their message across with nice songs sometimes in an acoustic rock vein and very infrequently let rip with a pounding attitude. They feel content with a safe, careful, but consciously chosen path. Like many Christian rock bands they also donít feel obligated to shove any message down your throat. Yes, itís obvious what their subject matter is about, but just as you can enjoy a song for its musical attributes and the mood it puts you in, the same goes for songs by so-called satanic bands - so what if they apparently worship a dude with horns or in white robes for that matter, if the musicís cool, then thatís that.
Jars Of Clay does exude a certain positivity, though, something a song by Deicide might never translate to those who choose to listen to their music in a calm, relaxed atmosphere. This is nice guy music, by, I guess, nice guys --but then that doesnít mean Glen Benton is a nasty guyÖ
- PB
3 / B

JERKY BOYS - Motion Picture Soundtrack
Notorious New York phone pranksters,
The Jerky Boys, have brought out a movie after a bunch of successful, yet abusive and hilarious CDs. The blend of modern punk and rock bands are definitely more exciting than your trashy Pretty Woman-style top 20 compilation and features the likes of Beastie Boys, Green Day and Tom Jones doing a great Lenny Kravitz cover. Another cover version is a cool rendition by Helmet of Black Sabbath's Symptom of the Universe. A couple of rap numbers and some Jerky Boy phone pranks make this a fun soundtrack, even though I'm more of an orchestral, Ennio Morricone kinda guy.
- PB
4 / A

TOM JONES - Reload
I love these kind of projects. Cult phenomenon
Tom Jones has dug his heels in and won't budge. Good. His appeal has spread across generations (more so than Tony Bennett) and his sense of cool is admired by all. And besides the Vegas days, flares, big-ass collars and medallions (which also holds a certain kitch attraction still has a phenomenal voice. And with modern producers and musicians, the man is a superstar all over again. All because he did a cover version of Prince's song, Kiss, with the Art Of Noise. Amazing. Resurrection doesn't only belong to John Travolta. So, as I was saying, I love these kind of collaborative projects. Tom does cover versions of fine songs by the likes of INXS, Fine Young Cannibals, Talking Heads, Lenny Kravitz and a dozen others. But, in stead of bashing them out with the original writer/performers, he pairs up with other artists which include Robbie Williams, Van Morrison, Stereophonics, The Pretenders, Portishead, Space, The Cardigans, Simply Red, Natalie Imbruglia and more. Great stuff. You might not like all of the artists chosen, or songs used, but what I like about it is that by doing this, a new dimension might be opened up, giving the bands and songs a new perspective (of themselves and by the listener). Most of the songs have a healthy dose of brass injected, in no way diminishing its modern appeal - enhancing it, I'd say. Describing the songs would be silly, as they are cover versions and done their way. So, if this tickles your fancy, do check it out, I think you won't be disappointed.
- PB
5 / A

JUNKIE XL - Saturday Teenage Kick
Junkie XL (better known as Dutch audio-meister Tom Holgenborg) has taken to the world of hard dance, filled with sampled traffic and traditional elements which blend seamlessly with the futuristic touches. Though the undeniable
Chemical Bros./ Prodigy spirit swirls manically through the soundscapes, Tom gives it a different, if not harder edge, with the addition of guest artists like Fear Factory guitarist, Dino Cazares (who also played an instrumental part in having Roadrunner sign Junkie XL) as well as Urban Dance Squad's hard rapping frontman, Rude Boy. This is one high-octane package for one bored planet.
- PB
5 / A

JUNKY XL - Saturday Teenage Kick (Roadrunner)
Following in the footsteps op such greats as
Prodigy and Chemical Brothers (some songs maybe too close for comfort), Junky XL gives us hard edged dance, Dutch style. Great beats, cool samples and some hefty guitar (courtesy of Dino from Fear Factory), what we have here is a worthy contender in this field. Avoiding getting soft, additional vocals are filled in by Urban Dance Squad's Rude Boy. A wild, energetic new sound which everyone should investigate.
- DH
5 / B