Release Date: January 29, 2007
You have likely heard (or soon will) the first single from this new Just Jack record. Starz In Their Eyes, from its building drumline to its disco-funk guitars, is closer to hip-hop nirvana than any artist has achieved for a few years now. It will be a massive hit. There are also at least two other guaranteed smashes on the record (that’d be opener Writer’s Block and down tempo Disco Friends). So, how about the rest of the album? Well, take a cue from the artist’s chosen moniker and it’ll give you a hint.
Other than its few inspired moments, much of Overtones is just Jack. And, quite frankly, he’s just not interesting enough to fill in the filler. Lyrically, he can’t touch The Streets or Eminem. He’s better than a rapping Robbie Williams, but really who isn’t? When Jack doesn’t have the tunes to back up his rhymes, the record falters and ends up being all too forgettable. There are the bright spots, of course. I Talk Too Much is a welcome dance cut, and No Time’s stabbing string accompaniment and sing-song rhymes are catchy enough. Still, unremarkable tracks like Lost and Symphony Of Sirens are simply too repetitive and dull to care much about.
Just Jack has a unique sound and can certainly carry a tune better than most MCs, yet he is more often than not let down by his hooks. A trio of cuts bolsters the beginning of Overtones. Starz In Their Eyes alone has enough power to work listeners into a frenzy, but that track’s energy is in short supply throughout the rest of the album. C+
Key Tracks: Starz In Their Eyes, Writer’s Block, Disco Friends