Picks and Pans Review: Schizophrenic

updated 03/01/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/01/2004 01:00AM

JC Chasez
CRITIC'S CHOICE

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After Justin Timberlake became embroiled in "Nipple-gate" at the Super Bowl, his fellow 'N Syncer JC Chasez was dumped from performing at the Pro Bowl. The organizers must have got a load of his sexed-up solo debut, which shows that while Timberlake may be the most talented and popular member of 'N Sync, Chasez might be the randiest. On the groovy synth-pop throwback "All Day Long I Dream About Sex," he chants, "All day long I dream about sex/ And all night long I think about sex." Elsewhere he angles for a threesome on the homoerotic "Some Girls (Dance with Women)," while on the throbbing "Come to Me" he espouses the joys of solo sex. That may be too much information for some 'N Sync fans, who might not be ready to see the former Mouseketeer wave "Bye Bye Bye" to his goody-goody image.

While the risqué results here fall short of Timberlake's excellent solo breakthrough Justified, Chasez, 27, avoids the teen-pop wasteland that trapped albums by other boy-band alums such as Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys and Nick Lachey of 98°. Just as Timberlake seemed to channel Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson on Justified, Chasez evokes early Prince with his '80s keyboard riffs and cheeky, falsetto-tinged delivery—not to mention his dirty mind—on songs like the delirious "100 Ways." The singer, who cowrote 16 of 17 tracks, also looks back by borrowing from B.T. Express's 1974 funk hit "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" on "Shake It," Donna Summer's 1977 disco classic "I Feel Love" on "One Night Stand" and Corey Hart's 1984 pop gem "Sunglasses at Night" on "Come to Me." Although the CD includes a few 'N Sync-ish ballads, such as "Build My World," Chasez proves to be surprisingly eclectic, even convincingly getting busy on the reggae jam "Everything You Want." He may be Schizophrenic, but at least that makes him versatile.

POP

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