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Album Review

Project Jenny, Project Jan created quite a stir with their eponymous debut EP, even Billboard took notice. Now the duo of frontman Jeremy Haines and music master Sammy Rubin are back with the full-length XOXOXOXOXO. Within, the pair dance merrily across 14 extraordinarily eclectic tracks, in fact, the album's so diverse, that Project never revisit a genre twice. You name it, the pair deliver it up, from exhilarating salsa to exuberant swing, breezy dancehall reggae to boisterous '80s New Romantic, chill-out ambience to slamming techno, Project twist genres until the last entertaining drop is squeezed from them. Some songs defy categorization, like the sultry "320," which evokes a time warp hip-hop Hollywood '50s musical number, or the smoldering "Summertime," that twines a bluesy guitar through old-school rap. Contrast that with the relentless bounce and metal guitar of "Marsupial," whose punishing beats have all the kick of a boxing bush kangaroo. The lyrics have an equal punch and even more wit. "Train Track" may swing in big-band fashion, but this is no nod to an old-fashioned "Chattanooga Choo Choo"." Even more hilarious is the pair's ode to "Brooklyn," surely inspired by Louis Armstrong's "Sunny Side of the Street," even as it rips a page out of the '60s Kinks song book. Whether addressing the only partially welcomed "Tourist," rapping out a "Personal" in a string of letters, celebrating love with an android, slithering into a morass of paranoia or just "Talking," Haines' rhymes will leave you mesmerized...and laughing. Behind him, Rubin's irrepressible rhythms keep the flow going, while his infectious melodies are absolutely irresistible, add Haines ever shifting vocal style and rhyme schemes, and you've got one unforgettable set, as entertaining as it is clever.


Formed: 2004 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Although Project Jenny, Project Jan describe their own music as "electro karaoke," the most obvious point of comparison is the synth pop era of Sparks, circa Angst in My Pants. Keyboardist Sammy Rubin is the Ron Mael figure, standing stoically behind a bank of laptops and sequencers while the brashly outgoing Jeremy Haines sings often extremely funny tunes about losing the negatives to those dirty pictures of your girlfriend and the glories of those cheap buses that run between Boston's, New York's,...
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Xoxoxoxoxo, Project Jenny, Project Jan
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