Half Notes: Luscious Jackson – In Search of Manny (1994)

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While the all-girl Luscious Jackson made all kinds of concessions by including then-hip back beats and low-key rhymes, Manny still aspires to a groovy article of faith. (It’s something they shared with the Beastie Boys, who ran the label this album appeared on.) Even now, there’s an involving adventurousness here — in particular in the intertwining voices of Jill and Gabby. Friends since they were teens, the pair was once known for roving around town with video cameras, asking people crazy questions and filming their reactions. Their symbiotic, occasionally chaotic collaborations on Manny — femme but somehow never fatale — sound like ratty suburban punk at times, like a fun session of street-corner dozens at others. Crunchy raps like “Let Yourself Get Down” and “Keep On Rockin’ It” never let go of their tunefulness.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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