There are heaps of ways I could introduce Alex Cameron’s debut album. One way would be to go on and on and on about his lucrative career as the frontman for electronic project Seekae. Another way would be to describe what the term, and subsequent album title, ‘Jumping the Shark’ means (idiom meaning that a project’s creative ideas are getting desperate for attention, derived from an episode from Happy Days when Fonzi literally jumps over a shark on waterskis). Even another way would be to talk about the fucking amazing website that Cameron set up for the project! Viagra ads and creepy face close-ups have never looked so appealing. But I feel as though the best representation for my introduction would be to talk about how this record was apparently rejected by ‘at least eight’ record labels. Taking even the quickest of listens to this album, that will come as a shock and a half to anyone who’s ever applied to the School of Good Tunes.
Reading through the website, you’d be forgiven for thinking Alex Cameron’s shambolic musings on the state of the Internet, e-mail and free downloads would at least filter into the album a little bit. Instead, the music listening public are left with a fucking fantastic album that manages to wallow in the mire and shine like the brightest fucking star in the galaxy.
The songs of ‘Jumping the Shark’ are a weird brand of electro-pop, jumping around with a strange energy, but held back from being Passion Pit-levels of exuberant by Alex Cameron’s voice. And what a fucking voice that is! It takes me by complete surprise that the guy held back this fucking gem from Seekae until just recently. His voice is hopeful, but there’s also a level of experience and wisdom in there that warns to shy away from being too optimistic. Think I’m reading into this too much? Well, fuck you, because the lyrics back me up in my hypothesis, such as in ‘She’s Mine’, when Cameron introduces the song with ‘Lovers having short careers, I wonder if they are but fears, of quickly gaining way too much, but slowly, slowly losing touch’. Put this in Cameron’s seductive, instructional tones and add a glittery synth line, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the best things you’ve heard all year.
‘She’s Mine’ is just the tip of the ice berg. Opener ‘The Comeback’ is the ultimate new-wave Rocky theme, even holding a chorus of ‘We’re gonna get my show back!’ over triumphant chords. ‘Real Bad Lookin’ holds a demented merry-go-round rhythm, whilst Cameron waxes poetic about ugliness, both on the inside and outside. And ‘Take Care of Business’ hits rock bottom, long pauses and subtle electronica, whilst Cameron basically cries out ‘she’s…takin’ care of business’ in the most heartbreaking inflection you’ve ever heard.
Alex Cameron’s debut effort ‘Jumping the Shark’ is memorable like watching dinosaur’s duel to the death. You can’t peel your eyes away from such a rare sight, and every fibre of your body is telling you that this is something that probably won’t occur ever again. ‘Jumping the Shark’ feels like a spiritual sequel to Rowland S Howard’s ‘Pop Crimes’, depressed but addictive music that feels like pop but could never be played on Top 40 radio.
‘Jumping the Shark’ is a hell of a fucking album, and its too majestic to go unnoticed. I’m actually going to be upset if this record doesn’t go multi-double-super-ultra platinum. Its too good to not be noticed by, at the least, the King of Nicaragua, if that position exists. However, because Alex Cameron is a super nice guy, for an undisclosed, limited amount of time, you can grab the album for free off his awesome, awesome website (I can’t get over how fucking great this website is). Get on it, because only Alex Cameron knows when the Alex Cameron record will become not-free!