Ben’s Brilliant Best Albums of the 1990s. No. 61. Luscious Jackson – Natural Ingredients

Because Kate Schellenbach was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, and Natural Ingredients was released on Grand Royal, every single interview, review or article with or about Luscious Jackson between 1991 and 1998 referred to them as ‘the beastie girls’ like it was super original idea that nobody had thought of before.

But mate, they sounded nothing fucking like them. Have some respect, yeah? Jesus.

In fact they sound so unlike the Beastie Boys that when I was working in a distribution centre and listening to them in the office, one of the guys I worked with said he liked them because they sounded like Focus.

They don’t sound like Focus either.

In fact they sound less like Focus than the Beastie Boys, but there is a playfulness in their music that makes the comparison slightly better than useless.

And we all hear different things in different music anyway. To him they sounded like Focus. Maybe they do. I haven’t actually heard that much Focus.

The important thing is though, he liked them. He liked Focus and he liked Luscious Jackson. I’m not a huge Focus fan but I love Luscious Jackson. I love the Beastie Boys and I love Luscious Jackson. I didn’t think to ask him if he liked the Beastie Boys (because I didn’t know at the time that many years later I would be writing this) so it is hard to extrapolate any useful mathematical information from the evidence gathered so far. Sorry.

The other reason I didn’t ask him about the Beastie Boys was that liking or not liking the Beastie Boys is irrelevant to a conversation about the merits of Luscious Jackson. Though I don’t seem to be able to shut up about the Beastie Boys, do I? I’m starting to feel a glimmer of sympathy for all those journalists in the nineties now. But only a glimmer, because they sound nothing like them.

Natural Ingredients has a brilliant, lazy-July-evening-in-a-too-hot-New-York sound. It has aged superbly and if you don’t know it you should give it a go. If you do know it, you don’t need me to tell you to listen to it, do you?