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Project Jenny, Project Jan

XOXOXOXOXO

(Might; US: 14 Aug 2007; UK: Available as import)

There are no women involved in Project Jenny, Project Jan; rather, the project with the misleading name is made up of two men, Jeremy Haines (who provides the words and other mouth noises, not to mention all of the album art) and Sammy Rubin (who provides the beats, synths, and, um, other). First track “Dia de los Niños” is a red herring—these guys have about as much to do with the Latin music scene as Cowboy Troy. “320” is a little closer to what might be considered a “typical” Project Jenny, Project Jan track, what with its spy-movie synthwork and intentionally stilted rapping style, but really, trying to find a consistent thread to XOXOXOXOXO is a fruitless endeavor. The only thing you can truthfully infer from XOXOXOXOXO taken as a whole is that the duo likes to have a good time and doesn’t take itself too seriously. As long as the listener doesn’t take them too seriously, either, the album’s a blast; “Games” is a hilarious parallel between the metaphorical and the literal games we play (“I used to be an auto thief in Gran Turismo / You used to be the Princess and I was Mario…”), while “Personal”, from which the album derives its name, goes through a newspaper (or maybe Craigslist) personal ad letter by letter. Heady lyrical content this is not, but it’s lighthearted, it’s got a good beat, and it’s worth a few laughs. More pop music should have this much fun.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


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