A Form Of Flattery

Jet

Album: Get Born

Release Date:  September 14, 2003

  1. “Last Chance”
  2. “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
  3. “Rollover DJ”
  4. “Look What You’ve Done”
  5. “Get What You Need”
  6. “Move On”
  7. “Radio Song”
  8. “Get Me Outta Here”
  9. “Cold Hard Bitch”
  10. “Come Around Again”
  11. “Take It Or Leave It”
  12. “Lazy Gun”
  13. “Timothy”

“I know we ain’t got,

Much to say,

Before I let you get away, yeah!”

“Are You Gonna Be My Girl”

I was going to write about another album. I had it all lined up. Even had the opening paragraph all worked out. I was planning on reviewing Dead Sara’s eponymous debut album, and then Jet’s “Get What You Need” came up on my shuffle, and plans changed. One second your writing about an under the radar gem and the next your wooed by a band that is, probably, best remembered for their appearance in the song list of the video game Guitar Hero.

“Can you just give me one more try at that?

Yeah!”

“Last Chance”

Get Born is not a classic album, but it is built upon, to borrow an album title from Oasis, the shoulders of giants. Every riff, chorus, and backbeat is emblematic of a classic sound from rock n’ roll history. From the opening background noise of “Last Chance” to the closing atmospherics of “Timothy” Jet either invokes their heroes or, shamelessly, steals from better artists. Which side you come down on will go along way toward determining how much enjoyment you get from the record. In essence Get Born is a glass half-full, or half-empty, album.

Yeah! Just take it or leave it yeah

You gotta roll with whatever you know

You gotta move if you don’t know what to do here’s the groove”

“Take It Or Leave It”

Lead single, and general earworm, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” may have gotten the radio airplay – in addition to cementing the band’s sound within the collective consciousness – other lesser hits and deep album cuts merit revisiting. “Lazy Gun” manages to evoke the best aspects of T.Rex while the baseline on “Get What You Need” pops and grooves like a long lost Humble Pie song. There are similarly well-executed flourishes that manage to surprise, even when the material goes along well-worn rock journeys of yore.

“Cold hard bitch

Just a kiss on the lips

And I was on my knees

I’m waitin’ give me”

“Cold Hard Bitch”

Jet manages to touch on just about every, wellborn, rock cliché in the book including that of misogyny. The cultural image of a shocked parent staring aghast at their young progeny, as some racy rock song plays in the background, is an idea almost as cliché as sexist rock songs themselves. I can certainly understand listeners who were turned off by the casualness of “Cold Hard Bitch,” however; including it on the album is just another thread that ties Jet back to the big swinging dicks of 70’s arena rock. After all, the hedonism exhibited by bands such as Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones is part of what made them legendary in the first place. Not that these same legendary bands don’t have a lyric or two that today might make you want to back your head against a wall every now and again.

“I’m sacking the man

‘Cause the man is a thief

I’m kicking the plan

Before the plan kicks me”

“Get Me Outta Here”

Not that Jet had to deal with the same level of outrage and public outcry that met their forefathers’ releases. If anything, at the time of Get Born’s release, Jet seemed to get to have the best of both worlds. A song like “Cold Hard Birch” got them a fair amount of publicity while still managing to become a mainstream rock hit. The song peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band, as well as its label, took advantage of marketing opportunities with iTunes and Rock Band. You can fault the band for its lack of originality, but it’s hard to find fault with their taste or timing.

‘Cause every once in a while

You think about if you’re gonna get yourself together

You should be happy just to be alive”

“Move On”

Even the inner-group dynamics of the band itself harken back to the brotherly dynamics of Credence Clearwater Revival. The splitting of the family dynamic between the rhythm section (Chris Cester on drums) and the more attention grabbing guitars/vocals (Nic Cester) doesn’t necessarily show up in the band’s lyrics but bears thinking when considering vocals and instrumentation.

Three of the four band members have a lead vocal credit on the record. In total, Nic Cester seeds the vocal spotlight on 5 of Get Born’s 13 tracks. Chris Cester handles lead on “Get What You Need,” “Move On,” and “Timothy”; while guitarist Cameron Muncey takes lead vocal duties for “Radio Song” and “Come Around Again.” Of the four, only bassist Mark Wilson goes un-credited with a vocal performance, or writing credit, – though he does contribute some rad harmonica on “Move On”- on the album.

“Come Around again

Come around again

Please come around again”

“Come Around Again”

Jet was never going to be accepted by critics, neither listener nor professional, as a band who released a string of rapturously received albums. The band’s second release, Shine On” was pilloried for sounding far too much, like an Oasis rip-off. A band that Jet had toured with while supporting Get Born. By the late 200s Jet had desisted as a pop culture entity, and the group ended up disbanding in 2009. A disbanding that was ended in 2012 when the members all returned to the fold. Still, it’s interesting to think back to the early 2000s and think about what was. As The Rolling Stones once wrote, “You can’t always get what you want,” but Jet proved that if you listen hard enough you can indeed, “get what you need.”

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