2001, Music

Rooty (2001) by Basement Jaxx

When Basement Jazz were at their heyday, I knew basically nothing about European dance music. I’m pretty sure I thought Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk and (I’m sorry to admit) Massive Attack were all the same thing. I did not care an iota about this stuff (and stuff that didn’t sound like it, apparently!), but I was vaguely aware of its existence because I was in university and how could I not be?

“Where’s Your Head At” is the only thing I remember, because I wasn’t paying attention but also because it appears to be the biggest North American hit from this record. It is not representative, by the way.

The music is a little more diverse than I was expecting. For example “Broken Dreams” almost goes into Trip Hop/downtempo territory and there are some other tracks that stray from the formula of funky house tracks with female vocals, which is appreciated.

But I can’t help but agree with a the sentiment that it often sounds cheesy. I’m not sure I would have got there without reading these other reviews, but once the thought was in my head, I couldn’t really get it out. There is an aspect of sampling UK electronic music of the ’90s and sort of leaning into its various conventions (cliches). I don’t know enough about the history of house music to know whether or not that’s true, but house had existed for…what? a decade and a half at this point? Something like that.

It also does very much sound like 2001. That’s not always a terrible thing to me, as I was a young adult in 2001 and definitely have some fondness for the music of the era, but this music doesn’t quite transcend its time and place like, say Daft Punk’s music seems to.

Dance music is absolutely not my thing but sometimes I can appreciate it. I don’t always here, it really depends upon the track. I guess that’s a positive comment about the album’s relative diversity but there’s nothing here I want to listen to again.


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