When Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club first announced his new side-project Mr Jukes, we were all under the impression that he was going to embark on something quite different to his normally indie guise. Little did we know that it would be a jazz / soul hybrid, making this more than just a new venture but a passion project that is very close to his heart.
'God First' pitches itself as a collection of ideas and inspirations, usually working in some hip-hop elements where it can, most notably on the De La Soul-featuring single 'Leap Of Faith'. The album struggles to find its identity in places, usually because each track seems to be its own individual work, making for a slightly jarring listening experience as a whole. Yet despite its problems with pacing, there are still plenty of fantastic works on here that help move the record along as best it can.
This definitely feels less like a succinct collection and more like a compilation of whatever Jack felt he needed to explore. And while it may not be the best way to put a record together, it certainly separates our expectations going into this release and delivers the odd surprise here and there.