Thursday, November 6, 2014

JC Chasez-Schizophrenic (2004)


Some girls like to dance with women. Huh, what? That's just one of the crazy things that were going on inside the head of JC Chasez, the founding member of the popular 90's boyband, N*SYNC, when he recorded his debut solo album, "Schizophrenic". I wonder how many of you N*SYNC fans didn't catch the funky getup JC's wearing on the cover artwork pictured above? Took me a minute to realize he was wrapped up in a straightjacket, which is commonly worn by the insane when they're being carted of to the psych ward. A nifty idea on the part of the marketing people, I must say. But off comes the straightjacket and into the schizophrenic realm of the N*SYNC star you go once JC unleashes the wild sexual fantasies stored in his mind on the opening upbeat club cut, my favorite part being when he sings the words to the title in the main hook. It's a great cut to bump to, given the tribal drum beat and its tight r&b bounce, and more hip is added to the hop later with the dirty rap remix on Track #17 featuring a Dirt McGirt (yeah, this guy's got some dirty thoughts alright, and the words flow so well with the beat) while the music gets a groovier dance kick with the semi-techno 'Stengard Radio Mix' I've included as a special bonus. Once you've moved beyond the opener, the remainder of the album is an eclectic, scatterbrained assortment of different sounds and textures, but all of it sounding really cool. After the dancey acoustic-guitar driven "She Got Me", it's the rockin' funky jam "100 Ways" that shows off some of that production schizophrenia and JC's skills (I particularly love that high voice of his; it's almost Prince-like, whom we all know is the master of the eclectic), not to mention even more of those sexy thoughts ('just can't control my thing' is the one line that pretty much says it all). There's a handful of other gems where it's nice to hear JC's voice: "Build My World" (these slow, hazy numbers are always nice on the ears), "Something Special" (wonderful guitar acoustics hear allow you hear that voice of his loud and clear), the bittersweet "Dear Goodbye" (features a more mellowed-out JC, who gives a terrific vocal performance), "Lose Myself" (it's hard not to lose myself in this song!) and another personal favorite, "Right Here (By Your Side)" (a much more mellowed-out JC here as he delivers this cuddly piece). But back to the wild side: shades of Prince again on "If You Were My Girl"; the electro glitz,the funk, the rock—he's all over the place on this one!). "Shake It" is another sexy jam to bump to, and it's got this sorta subtle, circus/carnival-like atmosphere to it. "All Day Long I Dream About Sex": well, JC makes it known what he's all about on this one. I like the bit of techno and electro-pop on this fun dance cut, especially that 8-bit digital synthesizing happening midway through and until the end that makes me think about those old Atari and Nintendo games from the 80's. If the words JC sings aren't stimulating enough, there's plenty of 'oohs' and 'aahs' by some lady to further help you get inside of his schizophrenic, sex-driven head. Yet the cut on this album I surely had the most fun with is "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)". I had almost missed the word 'up' the very first time I saw that title; without the 'up', the title becomes something different altogether, but wouldn't be surprising, given the content of the album anyways. Well, one thing that is sure 'blowing up' on this jam is the production—a bombastic explosion of tribal drum beats and whatever instrumental devices you can make out lets loose in big-time fashion. Overall, "Schizophrenic" offers up a ton of variety to satisfy all of your listening senses. 'Music, by reason of insanity': that's what I think JC Chasez says when asked why, following N*SYNC's disbanding, he chose to go off in this direction:

1. Some Girls (Dance With Women)
2. She Got Me
3. 100 Ways
4. Mercy
5. Build My World
6. Something Special
7. If You Were My Girl
8. Shake It
9. All Day Long I Dream About Sex
10. One Night Stand
11. Come To Me
12. Dear Goodbye
13. Everything You Want
14. Lose Myself
15. Right Here (By Your Side)
16. Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)
17. Some Girls (Dance With Women) [Featuring Dirt McGirt]

*****BONUS TRACK*****

18. Some Girls (Dance With Women) [Stengard Radio Mix]

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