More Fun, And Funnier, Than Justin

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happy
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Postby happy » Thu May 13, 2004 6:41 pm

from:New York Newsday

JC CHASEZ. More fun than a barrel full of Justins. With Samantha Ronson. Wednesday at Roseland Ballroom, Manhattan.

There probably hasn't been an article written about 'N Sync singer JC Chasez that doesn't mention his more famous cohort, Justin Timberlake. Comparisons are inevitable, but there's a crucial difference between the two. Timberlake, with his carefully chosen Michael Jacksonisms and craving for R&B credibility, wants to be taken seriously as an artist. Chasez, with his sleazy dance numbers and European clubwear, couldn't care less what you think of him.

That gives Chasez at least one edge over Timberlake, who trumps him in the singing, songwriting and musicianship departments. Chasez's new album, "Schizophrenic" (Jive), can't touch the critical or commercial success of Timberlake's "Justified," but in many ways it's more fun, and funnier.

Chasez sings about sex repeatedly, never mincing words or resorting to high-flown metaphors ("All Day Long I Dream About Sex," for example). The disc is a throwback to the hedonistic, club-crazy 1980s, packed with willfully cheesy keyboard riffs (some sampled directly from that decade), hokey handclaps and steamy rock guitar.

Chasez's show at Roseland Ballroom matched the disc perfectly. On a stage resembling a padded cell ("Schizophrenic," get it?), with a five-piece band dressed in hospital scrubs, Chasez cavorted with lingerie- clad nurses, switched outfits every few songs and led a six-person troupe through a series of delightfully gonzo dance numbers. The whole affair was so daffy that it began to feel like a hip cabaret act.

On "One Night Stand," which borrows the refrain of Donna Summer's disco hit "I Feel Love," Chasez chased his female dancers around using lame pickup lines: "It's kind of crowded. You wanna get out of here?" On "Shake It," Chasez and company turned a suggestive East Indian riff into a playground taunt, sticking out their tongues and wagging their fingers. Not once did he take himself seriously, even on the ballads. "Let's see what else we've got on the menu, Bob," he said in a game-show baritone as he pulled over a bar stool. "I believe a love song is up next for bid."

Never mind Timberlake — Chasez is more like Robbie Williams, the British boy-band member (in Take That) who successfully transformed himself into a self-mocking solo act. Chasez lacks Williams' wit, but his American goofiness is hard to resist...

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