Filed Under (Acoustic Originals) by Jason on December-13-2010

Jet is a good band, not a great band. They’re clever more than they are creative. They imitate more than they experiment.

Their debut album Get Born (2001), which sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, provided the 21st century with its first taste of rock n’ roll anachronism by unabashedly blending the sounds of The Beatles and AC/DC. This was cause for both celebration and condemnation of their music, for both reward – three singles off the album (Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Cold Hard Bitch, and Look What You’ve Done) are sing-along songs in the U.S. to this day – and ridicule – such as the suggestion (printed on Allmusic) that their music is “creatively bankrupt.”

Reasonable people can disagree, and whether they’re worthy of adulation or condescension is entirely a matter of opinion. To me, even the more blatant rip-offs are excusable if they provide some desperately needed respite from the usual pop-radio fare. And that they do: the three I mentioned still get play. After nine years.

Make no mistake, though, some of the rip-offs are indeed blatant. Take Look What You’ve Done, for example. Obviously reminiscent of a Beatles piano ballad, Jet openly borrowed not only clips of melody from Sexy Sadie, but even the line “Look what you’ve done/You made a fool of everyone” (almost). But to say that this reflects creative bankruptcy is too harsh. Jet has clearly shown an aptitude for melody – Look What You’ve Done is one of five quality ballads on that album alone.

Here is singer Nic Cester and lead guitarist Cameron Muncey performing an acoustic version of Look What You’ve Done. As it turns out, songwriter though Nic is, singer he is not. Instead of the McCartney-esque feel we’re used to, Nic’s vocals take a detour through his nasal passage, causing strained and occasionally missed notes. Oh well. I still like the song.

Listen to the original here:
Jet – Look at What You’ve Done

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Butt Flap Comics on December 13th, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

While I appreciate the acoustic version of this song, Cester’s voice got under my fingernails. A past roommate of mine could wipe the floor with this guy’s voice (in this instance). Vocals aside, its a great melody. I’d get all the fly hunnies after the youth group dance if I were to play this (assuming I was still in middle school).

rondawg on December 15th, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

this author doesn’t seems to comment on their other albums. Shine On and Shaka Rock are excellent albums that, while may be too catchy for their own good, are amazing conduits for listeners to appreciate rock and roll music as it used to be and as interpreted by JET. I love their music and will continue to rock out.

Joe on December 15th, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

BFC: Nic’s voice is awesome when he’s doing the rough n’ gruff thing, ala Brian Johnson. But I’m not sure he can really pull off the sweet n’ smooth he’s going for here. I doubt that hurts his chances with the fly hunnies, though.

Joe on December 15th, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

rondawg: Fair point. Admittedly, I don’t know Shaka Rock as well as Get Born and Shine On (I think Shine On is more or less comparable to Get Born). Also, to clarify – I’m a big Jet fan, but am trying to be realistic about their strengths and weaknesses.

But that’s just me. What do the rest of you think? Are the guys from Jet brilliant musical interpreters, or are they petty thieves?

Walter on December 31st, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

I think a key point you mentioned about his voice is that it is not McCartney-esque. But just as Nic may not be the best for songs like For No One or Let It Be, Sir Paul is not my first choice to tell me about a “cold hard bitch”. Nic is a rock singer, his voice should be aggressive, he’s not a Beatle. I think we should applaud Jet’s music even if they’re not the most original band out there today.

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