Almanac Music: Aussie Album Review – Jet ‘Get Born’



In one of those inexplicable but not unfamiliar musical coincidences, I was revisiting Jet’s 2003 album Get Born only a day before it was announced that the band would be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The HoF nomination has drawn the classic ‘mixed reaction’, moving critics such as The Age’s culture editor Osman Faruqi to question ‘what point (the Hall of Fame) actually serves’.


Jet frontman Nic Cester may well have betrayed a hint of sheepishness when he declared, “I don’t see this as a competition and no doubt those deserved will end up there in due course”. For its part, ARIA is portraying Jet’s nomination as being ‘the first of many’ inductees from a younger generation of artists. The merit or otherwise of Jet’s HoF nomination is certainly not a hill I would die on. But it did give me pause to consider how Silverchair, with 21 ARIA wins (more than any other artist) from 49 nominations, are not yet in the Hall of Fame.


But back to Get Born. Although I knew little about Jet at the time, I loved this album when it was released. And possibly because Jet’s debut was so unpretentious and simple in what it set out to achieve – a timeless collection of catchy and, yes, derivative tracks – it has not really aged at all. Indeed, in spite of its ubiquity, the smash hit single ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ still sounds as fresh as it did two decades ago, that tambourine and bass intro as ear-catching as ever. ‘Rollover DJ’, ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ and ‘Get Me Outta Here’ still rock hard in a no-nonsense straight-ahead manner. One of my favourite tracks remains ‘Lazy Gun’, which sounds like a cross between T. Rex and the Small Faces.


Even the quieter moments – more numerous than I remembered – continue to demand attention. The acoustic ‘Move On’ (shout out to the mention of Flinders Street Station), harmonious ‘Come Around Again’, reflective ‘Timothy’ and The Beatles’ ‘Sexy Sadie’-influenced ‘Look What You’ve Done’ are examples of the band’s song-writing and musical versatility, and hinted at the different directions which the band might explore in the future. Sadly, I was not the only one who was disappointed that follow-ups Shine On and Shaka Rock did not fulfill the band’s obvious potential, despite a number of highlights such as the tracks ‘Shine On’, ‘Seventeen’ and ‘She’s a Genius’.


I did not see Jet live in their first incarnation but was fortunate enough to see them at Hanging Rock in 2017 after they reformed to play in support of Bruce Springsteen. I was impressed – Jet were tight and powerful, and Nic Cester’s vocals were impressive. The announcement of their upcoming tour hinted that new material may also be forthcoming. While it might be too much to expect Get Born 2.0, the band members are still of an age that new contributions to their catalogue might well be of substance and worth the wait. But for now, we can enjoy Get Born – it is the sound of a young, vibrant band enthusiastically flexing their musical muscles. And that is a major part of the reason why it still sounds so great.


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About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Thanks for this Smokie.

    The album came out when I was living in the UK and I’d often hear ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ on the alternative London station, XFM (coincidentally, the breakfast announcer at the time, Christian O’Connell, is now on Melbourne radio). It’s a great rock song and made me both proud and homesick. However, like you, I’m unsure these achievements are sufficient for HoF. Were they the local music equivalent of Matt Spangher? Harsh?

    Either way I’ll revisit it.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Spot on Smokie, Get Born does still have a fresh sound and holds up wonderfully well. Also saw Jet supporting Bruce in 2017 but at AAMI Park, was actually blown away with how good they were. As for Hall of Fame worthy I’m not sure, definitely not when silverchair aren’t in it, even bands like The Screaming Jets would have more merit in my opinion. Hope we do hear more new material from Jet!

  3. Hey Smokie. Thanks for the refresher. Get Born ruled the airwaves when carting my kids around in the summer of 2003. What a very-high-bar first album. Open faced Australian Rock for playing loud. Fits in nicely with other oz rock debuts: Living in the 70s and Daddy Who? Daddy Cool.

    I think the album title came from the Bob Dylan lyrics:

    Oh, get born, keep warm
    Short pants, romance
    Learn to dance, get dressed
    Get blessed, try to be a success

    Hats off to the imperative mood.

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