As the second member of *NSYNC to go solo, J.C. Chasez seems
doomed to follow in the footsteps of Justin Timberlake, whose
pop-R&B album, Justified, was barely rescued from
dullness by the Neptunes’ ingenious production. Chasez,
however, makes a departure from the tried-and-true boy band formula
with his debut album, Schizophrenic. True to the
album’s title, Chasez explores a variety of musical stylings
with varying degrees of success.

The album opens with the single “Some Girls (Dance with
Women),” which has an infectious dance club beat and
suggestive lyrics. In fact, Schizophrenic is loaded with
sexual tension to the point of absurdity. Even though “Come
to Me” has a nice ’80s new wave beat, lyrics such as
“ ’Cause when I’m all alone / I lie awake and
masturbate” are extremely laughable. Similarly, in the same
song, “Conversation hotter than a fireman engulfed”
does not conjure sparks of passion, but rather images of pain and
searing flesh. While “100 Ways” also contains bizarre
lyrics about sex, Chasez effectively evokes Prince with both
breathy and falsetto vocals, as subtle bass guitar rounds out the
tune.

“One Night Stand” includes perplexing dialogue
between Chasez and a female voice, in which Chasez asks, “So
I’m thinking it’s kind of crowded. You wanna get out of
here?” The female replies sarcastically, “Yeah,
’cause you’re so smooth.” Who knows what Chasez
was thinking when he included that sound clip, because it
deteriorates the sexy image that he tries so desperately to create
for himself. The female’s orgasmic moans, straight out of a
bad pornographic film, are an irritating distraction and comprise
yet another pathetic attempt to make the album sexy.

Chasez sounds most comfortable toward the end of
Schizophrenic in the sugary pop ballads, which are
reminiscent of the more innocent songs of *NSYNC. Throughout the
rest of the album, Chasez struggles to project a sexualized image
with no success; his awkwardly worded, overtly sexual lyrics merely
make one cringe. To his credit, the album’s diverse songs,
all co-written by Chasez, showcase his vocal talent and
versatility. Chasez’s debut is decent and musically
interesting, but this former Mouseketeer is simply a boy next door
who is incapable of convincing his audience that he is an
over-sexed playa.

 

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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