Rolling Stone - 3/23/95, p.1253.5 Stars (out of 5)
- "...Jason Kay is a wonderfully nimble singer with a Stevie Wonder jones, and Jamiroquai parlay jazzy soul pop so tight it crackles....Nowadays, when most funk comes out of cans, Jamiroquai's live spark glows..."
Entertainment Weekly - 3/10/95, p.68
"...No idle nostalgia broker, Jamiroquai is a funk-making machine with a bright future in the past..."
- Rating: B+
Q - 2/02, p.1223 stars out of 5
- "...An ebullient follow-up to his storming debut..."
The Source - 4/95, p.84
"...THE RETURN OF THE SPACE COWBOY is a mixture of acid jazz-like keyboards with an overlay of bright horns and hard basslines....This group may still be light years ahead of the hip-hop world..."
Musician - 6/95, p.76
"...sounds like a bastard spawn of Stevie Wonder and Mandrill with its vintage keyboards, jazz harmonies and fondness for rambling, jam-oriented arrangements..."
Jamiroquai includes: Jay (vocals); Toby Smith (keyboards); Wallis (vibraphone); Stuart Zender (bass); Derrick McKenzie (drums).
Following up a debut, EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH, that bubbled over with soul, funk and outrageous acid-jazz rhythms, RETURN OF THE SPACE COWBOY brings the tempo down a notch, without losing any of its funky musical edge (or any of its idealistic lyrical flow). Singer Jason "Jay" Kay's vocals maintain the smooth manner of Stevie Wonder and Al Green, as demonstrated on "Stillness In Time," which evokes the Brazilian grooves of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and on the quiet-storm-like title track. Wallis Buchanan's didgeridoo, a Jamiroquai trademark, returns particularly strongly on "Journey To Arnhemland," which sounds like the theme from an Aboriginal blaxploitation flick.
Lest this become a totally low-key affair, a handful of tracks guarantee Jamiroquai isn't faking the funk. "The Kids" opens up the band's sound with greasy wah-wah guitar, punchy horns and a bouncy Moog syunthesizer. Live and studio versions of "Light Years" mix in equal amounts Parliament-Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire, guaranteeing hours of head-bopping and toe-tapping.