Magic Hour - CITY SONG
FILTER Grade: 79%
By Adam Pollock on November 5, 2013
Nostalgia is tricky. It comes naturally to romanticize the past, but start waxing nostalgic for yesterday and you can come off as out of touch, or worse: unironic. Earlier attempts to define the ’90s as a stand-alone era have crashed and burned, but a solid 20 years now distancing us allows a reprieve.
The ’90s gave us some music that was unfailingly brilliant, as the anniversary of Nirvana’s In Utero reminded us, and some that was boundlessly fun and infectious. Luscious Jackson made no attempts to shun the latter labeling and, through their associations with the Beastie Boys and their label Grand Royal, succeeded in being the stylish, cool chick band of the moment. From sharing the Lollapalooza stage with Smashing Pumpkins to songs in Gap ads, LJ helped define the decade’s alternative rock. But bands go out of style, family and new careers beckon, and LJ left the stage.
Now, they’re back with the awesome Magic Hour, brimming with the funky street beats that they made their signature sound and teasing, saucy vocals with instantly familiar melodies. The overall affect is to transport us back to that pre-9/11 decade when “alternative music” really was an apt descriptor. Thankfully, it’s OK to give in to a bit of nostalgia on occasion.