Jason Downs - The Spin
Y'know, even speaking as a guy, I can imagine that having sex with Prince, at least before his conversion to a Jehovah's Witness, must have been a great experience. Were the bedroom decorated in purple and his own albums, pre-Grafitti Bridge anyway, been left playing in the background, then all the better but if he could get sex onto an album as easily as he did on Dirty Mind, 1999 or Parade, imagine what he could between the sheets.
On the other hand, having sex with Jason Downs must be a chore. Sure, he's a handsome enough guy but where Prince had a playful attitude to sex that came through in his recordings - think of his, "Little Wendy will play.." before Wendy Melvoin's playful guitar solo on Kiss, the slow, lovelorn music that opens the voyeurism of Little Red Corvette or the drty sex that makes Girls And Boys so thrilling - Jason Downs makes sex sound as though it's ground out with as much passion as mowing a lawn and with almost as much involvement. Were Jason Downs to put The Spin on repeat play with one hand as he slipped his thong off with the other, it's more likely to have a prospective partner turning over and feigning a headache than feeling their skin tingle.
The lead single off the album, Shut Up (Let's Hook Up), is a perfect example of all that's wrong with the album. The backing track is a mix of funk and rock that is as close to the lithe mix of the same by Prince as Bernard Bresslaw is to John Travolta, no matter that both have released a version of You're The One That I Want. Similarly, the lyrics have the feel of hip-hop and r'n'b but without much feel for them - bitches and ho's, as horny as your average rapper and without much interest in anything other than what pays the rent but Downs sounds as though they're someone else's words that he's singing, something that he makes moves to disprove on Sing My Song and Taste Of The Action. Downs even makes the mistake of naming the album's final track after the opening track from Prince's third album, Dirty Mind. There's more here, though, than anything accidental as Downs mixes early-eighties synths into a tune that bumps'n'grinds but which, as a fat synth blats over the music, is no more than the final mistake on an album that's full of them.
The Spin is simply not a very good album and Downs is an uninterested host on the eleven songs here, further evidence of these songs really belonging to someone else no matter the writing credits. Jason Downs clearly has something to say - why write songs if that wasn't the case - but there's nothing on The Spin to say that he's work out how to say it just yet.