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Fluorescent Jellyfish
Artist: Furthermore
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Fluorescent Jellyfish
Are You The Walrus?

Of all the influences one can have, Christmas carols are probably the least found in modern music. But it is this influence which can occasionally be felt in Fluorescent Jellyfish, the debút of hip-hop act Furthermore. Maybe itís the addition of bells on "Are You the Walrus?" or the joyful synthesizer-line of "Another Dimension" which help evoke the Christmas spirit in the listener. Whatever it may be, it is interesting to note Tooth & Nail has set the release date for Fluorescent Jellyfish a mere month before Christmas.

Other influences include Robby Williams-esque keyboards on "Daydreaming" and an aggressive, Beastie Boys spin on the title track. These influences enhance the hip-hop without destroying it. At the core of Furthermore are three Salt Lake Citians who like to rhyme and talk fast. Most of this is actually done by frontman Daniel Fischer, whose duties are listed as lead rap vocals and writer, both of which he does with the backup of other members Lee and Jason Jester (who is also DJ). The music is made by three fill-ins: Barry Poynter (guitar and keyboards), Jason Magnusson (keyboards, percussion and hand-claps) and Jimmy Powell (live drums and keyboards). Barry Poynter also produced the album, and does a good job of bringing out a full sound.

Lyrics are not included, and are somewhat hard to catch from the fast-talking Fischer. Most relate stories, like "Are You the Walrus?," in which Fischer tells us about how he got stuck in a shop behind a girl who repeatedly asks him, "Are you the walrus?." Whether there is some deep thought buried in this question beats me. "Best Of" talks about the best things in life, which Fischer tells us "are the subtleties in small degrees which we donít see. Gracing our presence so perfectly."

Thankfully, Furthermore have a good lead vocalist who manages the rhythms and rhymes well. The music is nice, and there is enough variety to keep the album going. However, thereís just not enough new stuff here for repeated listens. Fluorescent Jellyfish is an average but mature debut.

Eric Daams 1/15/2000


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