Jet – Get Born

2 out of 5

Label: Elektra

Produced by: Dave Sardy

I had good memories of this album.  I was fully aware of how generic it is but I recalled it being energized by good performances, good production, and frightfully catchy singles.  With remove, and with a slew of rock revival bands having appeared prior to and after Jet, allowing us to see the select few who had what it took to actually survive the trend and continue to make music, Get Born is a miraculously boring release.  Curious as to my own shift in opinion, I did a cursory re-listen of their followup, Shine On, which I’d always considered a superior album; indeed, it’s a richer affair – which will be covered in its own review at some point – and makes the lackings of their debut more noticeable.  Namely: The lack of heart.  Every moment on Born rings of affectation; owning the entire T-Rex and Stones playlist on your mp3 player of choice and growing your hair long so you’ve got some cool shag to shake when playing your rockin’ riff.

And to be clear: These riffs do rock.  It’s distracting how much so – how easy it is to get a track stuck in your head.  But this is also due to how by-the-books each track is.  And fitting with producer Dave Sardy’s ace ear, he likely heard this – this ability to ape the greats with gusto – and encouraged the band to pursue it dialed up to 11.  Which they did, and he produced the hell out of it.  But it can’t replace the artifice; the complete lack of weight to a single lyric, or how put-on the crowd-cheering ‘hey hey heys’ are.

I know, this sounds rough.  I mean, I’d say the group came by it honestly enough – and were able to leverage the enthusiasm and skill into a more developed follow up – but once you’ve moved past the catchiness of Get Born, there’s simply so little to it.  It’s a young band, looking to impress and running to their guaranteed toe-tapping choruses as soon as possible, with a few feel-good folksy songs thrown in for good measure.  Alas, where are they now?