Formerly comprised of former Blood Brothers Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato along with former Pretty Girls Make Graves drummer Jay Clark, Jaguar Love seduced unsuspecting listeners with its pop/hardcore/electronic elements and alien voice of Whitney.
Their new album Hologram Jams still captures many of the elements that fans fell in love with after the release of Take Me to the Sea, but the romance is not as intense. Listeners still get the baffling, female-esque voice of Whitney and the infectious guitar hooks of Votolato, but the new formula Leaves something to desire.
Hologram Jams is more of an electronic dance music experience sans the punk and hardcore elements that made Take Me to the Sea so alluring. A few of the tracks contained within Hologram Jams are a bit repetitive with a constant backing beat, making them blend together. Tracks like “Polaroids and Red Wine” and “Cherry Soda”, fall into this category, making them great dance music, but not very dynamic otherwise.
Despite it’s shortcomings, standout tracks including “Evaline”, “Freak Out” and the weirdest version of “Piece of my Heart” you’ve ever heard make the album incredibly worthwhile. But being a huge Blood Brothers, Jaguar Love, and Neon Blonde fan, Hologram Jams is just a little disappointing.
Knowing what Whitney is capable of in both voice and content leaves a small void in Hologram Jams that wasn’t present in Take Me to the Sea. Much of the nails on a chalkboard screeching has been replaced with crooning, and the upbeat drum kicks of Jay Clark have been replaced by a drum machine, set on ‘dance pop’ mode.
At then end of the day fans of Johnny Whitney’s voice would probably enjoy listening to him read the phone book. Hologram Jams is the perfect transition for a band coming directly out of a hardcore band and exercising pop tendencies. On a positive note, the album will make you dance whether the fuck you like it or not. The beats are meaty, the hooks infectious, and the rhythm and flow of Whitney’s voice energizing.
Jaguar Love has so much raw talent that it would be difficult for them to make a bad album at this point in their career. With that said, Hologram Jams leaves fans of Take Me to the Sea wanting a little more depth that simply isn’t there. Since the band had quite a few perfectly blended elements of electronica in their previous tunes, the direction that Hologram Jams takes shouldn’t be surprising. In short, it’s not as good as Jaguar Love could be, but it’s better than most of the shit out there.