There are times when listening to something from out of the olden days you realise that some albums should just never be allowed to become old. Somehow certain things sound every bit as contemporary and timeless as they did way back when.
So it is with Basement Jaxx‘s third album Kish Kash, released an incredible ten years ago this week. I don’t want to suggest it hasn’t aged – it has, although admittedly pretty well – but it’s certainly a lot older than it ought to be.
After a moment of avant garde noises, Kish Kash kicks off with the totally brilliant hit single Good Luck, full of slightly mad energy and bouncy beats. It’s a great, powerful way to kick off an album, but is there anything else on there as good as this?
Sadly, the answer is no. Right Here’s the Spot continues with the bouncy beats, and definitely makes you nod your head, but there isn’t an awful lot to it sadly, and by the time you’ve worked through four minutes of it you’ll be getting pretty bored.
Ignore a couple of pointless interludes, and the next track is Lucky Star, featuring Dizzee Rascal on vocals. But that’s unfortunately pretty much all there is to say about it. The track was a minor comeback single, but was somewhat overshadowed by Good Luck a couple of months later.
Whereas previous albums Remedy (1999) and Rooty (2001) had their occasional low points, Kish Kash does unfortunately seem to be defined by them. Supersonic is just as dull as the couple of tracks that came before it, seemingly consisting mainly of improvised noodling and not a whole lot else.
Third single Plug it In is a considerable improvement, and should serve to remind you why you liked Basement Jaxx and bought this album in the first place. It’s not quite got the catchy melody of Good Luck, but it’s got a lot more going for it than anything that came in between.
Cish Cash, the almost-title-track, is next, with an enormous dirty bass line. It’s got a lot of energy again, although it’s lacking any particular hook. Tonight, on the other hand, is a really sweet track which would probably have started life as a Latin-themed guitar track. In traditional Basement Jaxx style it’s got slightly covered by obscure synth sounds and samples, but there’s still a good song hiding under all of that.
From thereon there isn’t anything of particular interest – Hot ‘n’ Cold is pleasant but not especially exciting. Living Room is rather pointless, and the closing track Feels Like Home is entirely pleasant but also just a little dull.
But Kish Kash is a decent album – it’s got a few holes here and there, particularly during the first half, but its better tracks are pretty strong, and it’s aged well. Did it deserve the literally rave reviews it got when it came out? Almost certainly not, but even so, it’s worth a listen now and then, if only as a reminder of how quickly a decade can fly past.
You can find Kish Kash at a bargain price through all your regular purchase and download outlets, such as this one.