Tuesday , February 27 2024
Naked is a state of mind?

Verse Chorus Verse: Luscious Jackson – “Naked Eye”

When we talk about great opening lines, we really ought to consider "Wearing nothing is divine/naked is a state of mind" from Luscious Jackson's "Naked Eye."  I know they aren't explicitly talking about my preferred state of nakedness, but that's still a great way to enter a song.

"Naked Eye" isn't a seduction song but there is something seductive about it.  It opens with a sleepy, monotone speak-sing vocal from vocalist Jill Cunniff before sonic colors poke through the mechanical gray intro.  From there it becomes sunny, California pop by four kids from New York.  It's a fun, hypnotic mixture of beats, melody, and harmony.

Fever In Fever Out
is the album where Luscious Jackson best combined their pop melodies with their more beat-driven persona.  I don't know how much Daniel Lanois' presence as producer should be credited for that, but he was there when it happened and "Naked Eye" is one of the best examples of it.

There are some songs that are purely of their time, that could only have been a hit at that exact moment.  While "Naked Eye" wasn't a record-breaking smash hit, it certainly helped break Luscious Jackson to a wider audience.  I'd never heard of them before.  The popularity of bands like Garbage and No Doubt and the massive commercial success of Alanis Morrisette probably helped pave the way and made "Naked Eye" the right song at the right time, but I'm not convinced it wouldn't work now.  Pop radio has only gotten more beat oriented, and sometimes a hit is a hit.  I won't be a bit surprised if one day I hear a (bad) cover version and find out it's racing up the charts.

About Josh Hathaway

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