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Jack Or Jive - Absurdity

The promotion information for Absurdity from Jack Or Jive reads 'The Japanese duet are back with an album full of distress and sadness'. Well, this CD is passionate, and a mellow bitterness takes over at times, but the music very moving and demanding. As Chako the singer states "I do feel angry because too many people died (in) absurdity." It is this mixture of controlled rage directed into some quite beautiful music, combined with compassion, that makes Jack Or Jive such impressive artists. Nothing about them is easy, and their music is beyond straightforward definition. Harrowing (largely female) vocals, subtle use of sampling, eloquent keyboards. Previous promotional material has compared Jack Or Jive to The Cocteau Twins, but I don't think the Cocteaus were ever this dark. Only one track 'Telepathy' seems in a more lighter vein. Others, such as 'My fellow Citizens' and 'Full Moon-Death of a Journalist' are focusing on contemporary events. The lyrics are mainly in Japanese, but a website for the band also has some pages in English at (review by Mike Shankland)