Chart Peak: 4
Let's face it, Jay Kay is a very easy person to dislike. At times he almost seems a walking (dancing?) collection of everything people dislike about pop stars. And that's without even mentioning the facial hair. It has to be admitted, though, that for a while his brand of pop-oriented jazz-funk could be quite effective.
Even though this was the follow-up to a Number One single, though, there were signs that the formula was starting to wear thin (indeed, the next single was his/their first to miss the Top 20 in over five years). Even though Kay had long been the focal point of the act, and his and the group name were widely treated as synonymous, this is roughly the point where the original line-up began to dissolve and Jamiroquai turned into a solo project: most notably, long-serving bassist Stuart Zender was jettisoned during the sessions and all his contributions obliterated from the released album. More to the point though, 'Canned Heat' sounds like a man reshuffling the same cards he's played many times before - and that's a particular problem from an act never particularly known for originality in the first place. It's best described as a solid record - the string arrangements are good, the tune is toe-tapping enough, the lyrics steer clear of preachiness. But it wouldn't really matter if it didn't exist.
Also appearing on: Now 26, 36, 50
Available on: High Times: Singles 1992-2006
Charting 1997: 27th December
11 months ago