Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio
Given Robbie Williams’ forthcoming album is apparently an excursion into dance territory, it’s perhaps unsurprising that he should have recruited Basement Jaxx as a support act for his latest tour. It’s also perhaps unsurprising that his crowds, allegedly, haven’t given the Jaxx a particularly warm response - although you might think any purchaser of Rudebox would be game for a laugh.
Crazy Itch Radio, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton’s fourth album, is firmly Basement Jaxx in pop mode, but it’s as multicultural, colourful and (frequently) off-the-wall as ever. There does seem to be a few new sounds and influences this time: a banjo is thrown into the rather sweet Take Me Back To Your House, and the overblown Hey U, reminiscent of something that's escaped from a musical, has a definite gypsy flavour. By contrast, the record’s highlight, Lights Go Down, is a mellow, subtly Indian infusion. If Run For Cover, an ode to mingers, is the only track likely to have you diving for the skip button (trust me, it’s just slightly less annoying than Crazy Frog or, indeed, Rudebox), there’s sadly nothing here in the same league as Red Alert, Where’s Your Head At or Lucky Star.
The spirit, often comparable to a carnival in your living room, is ultimately more infectious than the tunes, but, given the surplus of dull indie bands and formulaic pop acts around, Basement Jaxx will always be a welcome presence.