Take a moment and think about everything you associate with JC Chasez -- another Mickey Mouse Club superstar spawn, charismatic singer-songwriter-dancer in the multi-platinum *NSYNC, and boy-band heartthrob to girls the world over (to name but a few). Now purge your mind of all of it. Erase. Delete.
Introducing the aptly-titled Schizophrenic, an age-appropriate and surprisingly different sonic venture for the 27-year-old grown-up JC Chasez. Anyone who paid attention to Chasez's recent collaboration with electronic wunderkinds Basement Jaxx ("Plug It In" from Jaxx's latest, Kish Kash) or Chasez's solo debut on the soundtrack to Drumline "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love") has an idea of the diverse musical tapestries that Chasez's debut solo effort covers. Make no mistake about it: Chasez's signature harmonies and lyrical style are here, but Schizophrenic dabbles in a wealth of genres (New Wave, techno, Latin rhythms, soul, R&B, and even reggae) that showcase this superstar's wide-eyed musical vision.
On the heels of bandmate Justin Timberlake's multi-platinum solo debut, Chasez received only one suggestion. "The lesson Justin learned was simple and brief," says Chasez. "'Make sure you do what you want to do.' I took that approach from the very beginning. I didn't create a formula or anything like that. Instead I wanted my album to feel organic. So I just did a variety of the music I love."
In order to produce Schizophrenic, Chasez, who co-wrote all 15 tracks, went into self-imposed exile, away from the hoopla of being a member of one of the biggest groups in the world, away from the distractions of money and fame, and, most importantly, away from outside influences pulling at his musical heart strings. "I did this record on my own terms," says Chasez. "I wouldn't even take calls. I wanted this album to be purely about fun and music, not business. And that's what happend."
The result is a stunning collection that will surprise even the staunchest of critics. To sculpt the varied Schizophrenic, Chasez hooked up with a wealth of production wizards, including Rockwilder, Riprock 'n' Alex G, and Basement Jaxx (who returned the favor on Schizophrenic's sensual "Shake It"). While elements of Chasez's obvious musical influences are present (a little Michael Jackson here, a little Prince there, a little Stevie Wonder over there), the end results have been shaken and stirred into a seductive and sexy soundtrack fit for both the clubs and radio.
Nowhere is that more evident than on Schizophrenic's first single, "Some Girls (Dance with Women)." A bangin' club track ripe with taboo, sexual innuendos set to a hypnotic, bass-heavy beat. Not surprisingly, the song came to Chasez on the dance floor. "Everybody talks about everything in the club except for this," says Chasez of "Some Girlls." "Everybody sees it and everybody acknowledges it and everybody does it when they are out, but nobody has actually done a song about it."
Elsewhere on Schizophrenic, Chasez flows through the album's eclectic musical map. On "100 Ways," a fervent rock riff shapes the tale of a particularly prurient afternoon with a female: "Mercy," "Come to Me," and "All Day Long I Dream About Sex" hark back to early '80s New Wave, both taking advantage of the seasoned synthesizers of days gone by; "She Got Me," produced by longtime friend Robb Boldt (who handles the majority of Schizophrenic's knob-turning), highlights Chasez's vocal range in a bouncy, fit-for-rug-cutting track; "Everything You Want" pounds an Islander's reggae beat into the lyrics about the empty outer limits of desire; and, last but certainly not least, the ballads "Build My World" - showcasing Chasez's lilting, multi-octave vocal range -- "Lose Myself," and "Dear Goodbye" -- with its Latin-tinged classical guitar -- rival anything Chasez has ever put his voice to.
"There is a certain vibe that I bring to the table that will transcend any music style," he says. "For this record, I just did stuff that I felt like that day. I would roll out of bed and think, 'What kind of mood am I in today? I'm in a rock and roll mood.' And that was it. To a certain extent, whenever you are writing for a band, each guy is going to want something in the song. You compromise because you want everybody to be happy. The song is not just about you. But when you are working on your own, it is all your own. So you won't find any compromising on this record.:
With his debut solo album, Chasez shows that his musical limitations know no bounds. Schizophrenic will no doubt surprise fans and critics alike, but the end results are all JC -- a kicked-back, no holds barred discography of the life of a 27-year-old pop star who doesn't care about what's hip or what's selling now, but rather what is true to himself now as a grown-up artist. It's sonic reclessness in the most ear-pleasing of ways.
"A lot of these songs just have to do with good times," says Chasez. "Nobody takes a rock and roll attitude to pop music anymore. Nobody talks about love in an elevator anymore. Everybody is too busy being cool. I didn't worry about being cool on this album."
--- from the official JC Chasez website