Listening to Luscious Jackson's four records from the '90s is like a night out hitting the clubs in New York City: a rock riff here, reggae grooves there, some sugary pop, and plenty of low end. All in all, a good time, and plenty eclectic.
After a 14-year hiatus for child-rearing and other pursuits, the band (now a trio) is back with "Magic Hour," and it feels like they never left the party.
The new album really kicks off with "#1 Bum," a funky, slinky ode to a man's posterior. "I got your back . I love watching you go," Jill Cunniff slyly sings, equal parts goofy and sexy.
Cunniff's warm voice gets dreamy on the ballad "3 Seconds to Cross," a Manhattanite's take on living and walking in Los Angeles. And she and guitarist Gabby Glaser rev up into a sing-a-long on the galloping dance floor entreaty "Are You Ready" while Kate Schellenbach thumps out a hip-hop rhythm worthy of the old school Roland TR-808 drum machine.
Back in the day Luscious Jackson rode a wave of so-called alternative music. But as the hook-heavy "Magic Hour" reminds us, at the core they are a dance-pop band not afraid to get sophisticated.