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JC Chasez, ‘Schizophrenic’ (Jive)

After the (sugar) crash of the boy-band market, ‘NSync’s Justin Timberlake quickly refashioned himself as a B-boy-talkin’, body-rockin’ friend of the fabulous, to great success. But whither JC Chasez, the Milhouse to Timberlake’s Bart? With his first solo album, Chasez wants to hurdle the same credibility gap Timberlake did, but he won’t get there from here. Schizophrenic is an over-the-top homage to sex whose emotional age equals its bloated number of tracks: 15.

To prove he’s truly logged hours of diligent research in da club, Chasez enlists a few name producers (Rockwilder, Basement Jaxx) to conjure that sexxxy party vibe.Schizophrenic’s horn-dog first single, “Some Girls (Dance with Women),” extols the joys of watching girls get down with other girls, and though there’s some juice in the chorus, the tuneless, monotonous verse doesn’t allow Chasez to unravel his range. Without the cushion of four-boy harmony, his falsetto bounces between unadventurous melodies and even tries on a Timberlake mask (“If You Were My Girl”).

Stylewise, Chasez bites more artists than he can chew. He replicates George Michael’s “Faith”-era acoustic stomp on “Something Special,” and Sting’s jerky yelp circa “Message in a Bottle” for “Everything You Want.” What really derails the album is Chasez’s eagerness to show that he’s got more than Ken-doll parts under those ‘N Sync duds. He lets loose bawdy declarations galore, from “I lust for you” to “Got me burnin’ for ya.” But despite all the pillow talk,Schizophrenic works itself into a true lather just once, on the retro floor pounder “All Day Long I Dream About Sex.” As ’80s-style electro throbs in the background, Chasez closes his eyes, lets go, and again recites the party line, only this time he’s outfitted with super-glue shoes–and he sticks the landing.

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Tags: Albums