Jesu have always confounded me a bit. I ended up seeing Jesu with Heath a couple years ago now when they were opening for Isis at Irving and had a hard time reconciling the music I was hearing against the Godflesh and Napalm Death shows I had seen in years past. Don't get me wrong, I have very little interest in fraternizing with whatever passes for a Godflesh fan in 2008, but I didn't really think I was going to hear a Twilight Singers record remixed by Al Jourgensen either. The live show was good, although obviously heavily sequenced. In checking out the recorded Jesu material, it's obvious that Broadrick hasn't let his studio chops get dull. Why Are We Not Perfect? has the gloss and sheen of a masterful engineer. There might be some argument that a producer might make the songs a little shorter, as four of the five songs are but a shade under seven minutes. In his defense (as if he needs it) it's not like these are going to be radio songs, and he develops his themes organically enough that the songs rarely feel bloated, but those with shorter attention spans might grow weary of the ear candy before Why Are We Not Perfect? draws to a close. Personally, the keyboards get a little Alphaville for me, to the point where I wonder why the average metal guy would even be into this. I don't mean to pigeonhole Jesu into the metal community, but Isis and the like are indicative of the type of bands they tour with and I can't see Jesu going down a storm in front of a Midwest metal crowd, but maybe the scene is more open-minded in this day and age.
If you follow Justin Broadrick like a lout of shut-ins follow Mike Patton and think everything he does is genius, you're probably already sold on Why Are We Not Perfect?. The average Godflesh fan might balk a bit, but I expect that the older fans that have stuck it out with Nine Inch Nails might find this appealing. I'd say it's ok. Sonically, it' definite ear candy, but it's a little too slick for me. You can get Why Are We Not Perfect? here from the good folk of Hydra Head here. Keep tabs on the coming and going of Jesu here.