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46. Basement Jaxx – Romeo

08/11/2009

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Basement Jaxx are known for their maximalist, technicolour vomits of songs – and not unfairly so when you consider the twists, turns and kitchen sinks that pepper their finest moments. But despite this, their crowning glory of the decade is a relatively restrained, relatively straight R’n’B popper. I use “relatively” advisedly, of course – this is Basement Jaxx after all, so there are still caterwauls and claxons jumping out of the desk from time to time. But most of the distractions lurk deep in the mix here, rewarding the repeat listener and, crucially, not distracting the casual one. This leaner production also really allows Romeo’s pulsating riff to drive the song, leaving Kele Le Roc to have some fun with her vocal line. All this isn’t to ignore the carnival bombast of the tune – there’s still more going on here that in your average big pop tune – but paradoxically it’s Basement Jaxx’s less manic approach to production that makes Romeo so addictive.

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