French duo Jamaica have been getting a lot of attention on the blogosphere of late, not least because of the fact their debut album has been produced by Xavier de Rosnay (one half of Justice). Early single ‘I Think I Like U’ set out their stall, a breezy electro-pop number that sounded a lot like fellow countrymen Phoenix. The influence of both those acts on debut album No Problem is clear, while the duo integrate classic/soft rock influences into their set up in much the same way that Daft Punk did.
However, if all that sounds pretty nice on paper, this is ultimately a pretty bland record. There are some definite highlights: ‘Jericho’ rides along on a gloriously cheesy guitar riff, while ‘Short and Entertaining’ ducks and weaves deftly; at their best, Jamaica can give Phoenix a run for their money in the danceable pop stakes.
Unfortunately, too much of this record qualifies as forgettable and unimaginative. There’s a serious lack of variation in song structure and tempo, not helped by the fact that each track bleeds into the next one without pause: towards the end of the album it just becomes a nondescript blur. As well as that, the classic rock flourishes frequently cross the line into outright tackiness.
As enjoyable as the standout tracks on No Problem are, they’re surrounded by disappointing filler: at this stage Jamaica lack the range, and indeed the tunes, to sustain a long-player.