Jimmy Chamberlin Complex - Life Begins Again (11-track album/ Sanctuary)
By Steve Rudd
Release Date: January 24th 2005
Now then, here's one hell of an album to write home about, being one of the first
masterpiece albums - somewhere alongside Athlete's fantastic Tourist beauty - to arise in 2005
The JC Complex (for short) is something of a super group, featuring a whole host of
The name Jimmy Chamberlin might set a few bells ringing, but probably only if you were
a hardcore fan of The Smashing Pumpkins or Zwan.
You see, good ol' Jimmy here played drums for both late, truly great bands.
After the sudden and sad demise of Zwan, Jimmy decided to hell with it - he wanted to
pursue some solo ideas, and these eleven tunes are the fruits of his work.
All the songs have been co-written by Jimmy with his buddy Billy Mohler, a guy who actually
auditioned for a place in Zwan a few years ago, but who - somewhat ironically -
was never asked to join the band.
Well, Mohler is making up for it now, having written some brilliant songs here with Chamberlin.
Interestingly, half of the album is almost exclusively instrumental-based, while the other
half of the album is comprised of proper songs with lyrics.
And it isn't as though the
Chamberlin-Mohler song writing partnership is hogging the spotlight, for
there are a number of special guest appearances throughout the album that
crop up and provide lead vocals.
The assertively anthemic title track, for starters, is sung by Rob Dickinson
(the ex-Catherine's Wheel man), before one half of the legendary Righteous Brothers
in Bill Medley lends his voice to Lullabye For Children.
If indeed you come to the music of this Complex outfit as an incidental fan of
The Smashing Pumpkins and/or Zwan, then brace yourself for Lokicat, for it is a
beautiful song that is blessed by the uniquely ethereal and highly distinctive
voice of Billy Corgan.
Lokicat was originally intended as an instrumental track,
but it seems that Corgan persuaded Chamberlin to set some words to the tune, and
the end result is unsurprisingly sublime.
Of the instrumental tracks themselves, the album-opening Streetcrawler and the exquisitely
chilled-out splendour of PSA are just two of a multitude of highlights.
All in all, the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex has proved to be a most fascinating and rewarding
experience for all musicians concerned.
It's great to hear Billy Corgan involved once more in the making of truly moving and
timeless music, just as it is heartening to think how so many wickedly talented
musicians have come together on the recording of this album with a wholly co-operative
attitude, with no one musician's ego vying for any degree of prominence.
It's the music that matters, and it's about time too.
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