It’s hard to affix a predominant style to Movemeants II, although the influences are strong. Aside from the usual suspects the most personified at certain points is perhaps a turn-of-the-millenium Timbaland, which is no surprise as Jansport himself has described the producer as his inspirational catalyst for making serious moves in music.
By no means does this ever become overbearing though, in fact Jansport comes across as definitive in his own sound here as he probably ever has, a quality that always helps the listener through a near-hour long instrumental album. The sitar-string frenzy on the albums curtain raiser “The Reprise” begins an exotic vibe that continues through to the spectral vocal chant that submerges and resurfaces between the drum beat on “The Omen”, and embodies the potent woodwind on “Peace Pipe”.
Later on, “Entertain You” ushers in a mellow act around the middle of the album drawing on the rich resources of soul and jazz. Emotive melodies and intricate instrumentation drive these tracks that may well be telling a narrative. Elsewhere on the other end of the scale Jansport brings the ruckus with tracks like “Gritty”, which earns its title via dusty drums and reverberating piano keys, and potentially my favourite track on the album – “Droppin Science”.
The drum structure remains thorough on “1234567” and “Exhale, Excel” which boasts the achievement of roughly 15 minutes of replay before I continued to progress through the rest of the album. Now, you know when you hear a great introduction to a song but it lets you down 10 seconds into it? – “Sun Down” isn’t one of those tracks. The drums roll in with great form as the strings paint reflective imagery akin to the aftermath of a showdown between two samurai who had a metric fuck tonne of respect for each other.
This illustrative quality of the production coupled with a healthy competency of styles on display keeps things moving generally well. However if you’re looking for a cohesive listening experience you may not find it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It feels more like a collage, or a playlist already set to shuffle. At times though I would have welcomed more experimentation with a handful of certain tracks that felt a little too neat and tidy, but this is a very minor gripe from an otherwise solid album. It doesn’t depart too drastically from the previous MoveMeants but it is after all an aesthetic sequel, and there’s definitely enough progression to avoid the label “more of the same”. In all, Jansport J cements the last couple of years’ output with a strong step forward.
[wpaudio url=”http://d2jos65913uaef.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/24-Droppin-Science.mp3″ text=”Jansport J – Droppin Science” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://d2jos65913uaef.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/26-Sun-Down.mp3″ text=”Jansport J – Sun Down” dl=”0″]