Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Raindrops keep falling on Joe Jackson

One of the best singer songwriters from the heyday of 1979, is back with a new studio album in January 08. The new album, "Rain" is Jackson's best album since 1982's milestone "Night and Day", which featured the infectious "Steppin' Out".

Joe Jackson, best known for his 1979 debut album "Look Sharp", which was recently voted as one of the "1000 Most Important Albums to Hear Before You Die" in the UK's Guardian newspaper, is set to release his first studio album in four years, "Rain". Back in the late seventies Jackson and the Police were the big selling artists on the now defunct A&M Records (home of The Carpenters).

I've been fortunate to have a listen to an advance copy of the new Rykodisc album. It's a welcome return to Joe's original stripped down no-nonsense sound of piano, vocals, drums and bass guitar.

If you thought the songs on 1979's "Look Sharp" were a fluke, think again, because Joe is the true master of singer/songwriting. What's more, for the album he brought in a little help from Graham Maby (bass) and Dave Houghton (drums) - the same musicians who played on his first three albums; "Look Sharp" (1979), "Im The Man" (1979) and "Beat Crazy" (1980).

Released by Rykodisc, standout tracks include the opening number the emotive opener "Invisible Man", the rockin' "Citizen Sane" and the stunning ballad "Wasted Time".

Joe's last studio album, "Volume 4", was released back in 2003, so getting this new platter has been a long time coming, but worth the wait. Joe is still looking sharp, and lyrically, he cuts through popular culture with a swiss army knife.

It will be wonderful to see Joe in concert at the London Sheperd's Bush Empire on Sunday 2nd March 2008. Hopefully, it won't be raining, but seeing that it rains practically every day in London, I'll try to remember to bring my umbrella.