Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's first formal collaboration with a producer —Steve Jordan, for 2002 set "Plastic Fang"—yielded the trio's most focused, clear-sounding and bright set.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's first formal collaboration with a producer —Steve Jordan, for 2002 set "Plastic Fang"—yielded the trio's most focused, clear-sounding and bright set. Returning under a new name and label affiliation, Blues Explosion now has one foot in the more disciplined world of "Plastic Fang" and the other in the ultra-lowdown and dirty electric blues that marked earlier recordings. While Jordan-produced tracks like "Burn It Off" and "Mars, Arizona" recall the very accessible "Plastic Fang," collaborations with Dan the Automator, David Holmes and DJ Shadow lend new sounds and arrangements to the band's enduring affinity for low-end sonic sleaze. Along with the scratching and loops of the Shadow-produced "Fed Up and Low Down," Chuck D lends a hip-hop vibe to the funky "Hot Gossip," trading vocals with Spencer. JSBE fans will recognize this rechristened and evolving Blues Explosion and are very likely to enjoy it just as much.—CW

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