Jet, ‘Shine On’ (Atlantic)
The pitiless logic of the music biz goes something like this: Your first album is the one you put all the work into, and if it becomes a hit, you spend the next two years touring, so your next one is almost bound to suck or fizzle quietly. And Jet are nothing if not logical.
Shine On finds the Aussies navigating their two most obvious influences — AC/DC and the Beatles — trying to recapture the magic of the two songs that made their debut album, 2003’s Get Born, a hit: “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” and “Cold Hard Bitch.” And for a moment, they do. “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” is a savvy synthesis, with Nic Cester’s stage-shredded voice swinging between John Lennon falsetto and Brian Johnson growl, while “Bring It on Back” and “All You Have to Do” are credible Fab Four rip-offs.
But it’s when Jet explore the territory between their lodestars that they go from being decent mimics to inconsequential imitators. Ballads like the title track and “Eleanor” make Oasis seem deep; rote hard rockers like “Hey Kids” are just not worth thinking about. Then again, since that song, wittingly or not, distills the industry philosophy into five words — “You never changed the world” — maybe it is. You couldn’t find better evidence that two singles, not love, is all you need.