"The Jelly Jam" (Century Media/Inside Out)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Jelly Jam is really Platypus without Derek Sherinian. While the absence of a keyboard player may not seem like much, a new dynamic was created with the trio of Ty Tabor (King's X), John Myung (Dream Theater), and Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs). 

Whereas Platypus missed the sounds of the guitar and keyboards equally, The Jelly Jam moves to the beat of a heavier and more prominent guitar-based sound, as you might expect without any keyboards in the band. The Jelly Jam's version of rock keeps the virtuosity of Platypus intact while the extra guitar work makes the CD sound a bit more like an early King's X record yet still retains the space-rock atmospherics that have survived in music since the '70s in one form or another.

Ty Tabor's lyrics are a bit more stark this time around. Tabor's direct emotional outpouring no longer needs any metaphorical meanings to disguise their origins. Tabor readily admits his personal problems in The Jelly Jam.

I found The Jelly Jam's self-titled debut to be much more immediately likeable than Platypus' "Ice Cycles" and slightly more likeable than Platypus' "When Pus Comes To Shove." And that says a lot. "The Jelly Jam" is one CD that I'll be playing often in the weeks, months, and years to come. 

"The Jelly Jam" was produced and mixed by Ty Tabor.

The Jelly Jam is Ty Tabor on vocals and guitar, John Myung on bass, and Rod Morgenstein on drums.

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"The Jelly Jam" (Century Media/Inside Out)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Despite their impressive pedigree, this CD is one of the worst I have reviewed in awhile. The music herein is so slow and so overly melodic that it just about put me to sleep. 

Based on the bands these musicians stem from (King's X, Dream Theater, Dixie Dregs) I was surprised at the complete lack of fire or imagination. Instead, what I was reminded of was the recycled music of today, i.e. Matchbox 20, Stained, Counting Crows, Shades Apart, just to name a few.

Sappy, sweet and overly "sensitive," The Jelly Jam went through my mind like butter through my colon. In other words, it just slipped through and didn't grab me anywhere at all.

Look, I know musicians have to stretch, but - as far as I'm concerned - these guys stretched in completely the wrong direction.

The Jelly Jam: Ty Tabor - vocals and guitar; John Myung - bass; Rod Morgenstein - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Mar 2024 12:56:41 -0500.