Jamiroquai – Late Night Tales

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

The latest instalment of the Late Night Tales series, following on from Nightmares On Wax, Groove Armada and Zero 7, sees Jay Kay, behatted head honcho of acid jazz funksters Jamiroquai and crasher of stupidly fast cars, get behind the mixing desk to show us his record collection.

Now, I’d love to be able to say that Mr Kay has taken this opportunity to disprove the many people who accuse him of being nothing but a blatant 70s plagiarist by throwing in some real leftfield surprises, but I’m afraid the paparazzi-decking buffoon has gone for a selection as predictable as his music. I wasn’t expecting Slayer, but at least a tracklisting that drew on more than disco and soul would have given him the opportunity to assuage his critics.

With rousing songs from Sister Sledge, The Pointer Sisters, the Commodores, Rufus & Chaka Khan and Ashford & Simpson, you have enough glitter to get that “ironic” afro and flares party in full swing. You even get some blindingly obvious cod 70s culture reference points in the form of Lalo Schifrin’s theme from “Enter The Dragon”.

More reflective moments come from Marvin Gaye with his bittersweet HERE, MY DEAR and Jose Feliciano’s stirring cover of The Mamas And Papas’ CALIFORNIA DREAMING, but for the most part, this is basically just a well-produced disco / soul mix tape.

Collectors of the series will need to buy this as it contains part three of Brian Blessed’s reading of the continuing short story WHITE CITY, but for everyone else it serves more as a reminder of who did this kind of music best.

2 stars