The first clue that J.C.'s solo career was going somewhere came on the Drumline soundtrack. "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" out-Justined Justin via a flawless 21st-century cloning of George Michael. Chasez inevitably revisits those plastic soul roots on Schizophrenic, with mixed success -- "Build My World" is a gooey teen ballad with enough saccharin to off a labful of rats -- but more often, and more interestingly, the album lives up to its title. "100 Ways" mashes genres into a twanging, rapping, rocking mess of a single that's irresistible for its sheer chutzpah, while the techno-metal stomper "A.D.I.D.A.S." gives an old joke some New Orderish juice.
Sure, such crazed attempts at genre-hopping are time-honored bids for credibility by a young artist desperate to show he can do it all. It just never feels that way. The multiple '80s references sprinkled throughout aren't merely trendy -- they make sense; it's been about that long since a star this big sounded like he was having this much fun.