Joe Jackson
Night and Day


4.5
superb

Review

by BenHeller USER (15 Reviews)
May 6th, 2010 | 12 replies | 6,101 views


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where Jackson threw away the Pop rule book and pursued his own vision with stubborn independence. It remains his finest moment.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

By 1982, no one would have ever believed that at one time Joe Jackson was an angry New Wave/Power Pop singer/songwriter with a portfolio of honest, well written and consistent albums (except the confusing “Beat Crazy”). His previous release, “Joe Jackson’s Jumping Jive” had shown that he was never fearful of a complete genre hop, enveloping himself, his band, and the listener in the world of Louis Jordan and 1930’s and 40’s Jazz and Swing music. It worked, but Jackson quickly realised that at that stage in his career he didn’t want to be “Pigeon holed” as a Jazz revivalist. His musical ambitions were still far from fulfilled, and when he left the U.K shores following a rough divorce and set up camp in New York City his opportunity came to take in the works of Porter, Gerschwin, Latin music and particularly Salsa.

“Night And Day” is a sleek reflection of all these influences, combining Jackson’s modern gritty lyrics with a classy backdrop of complex percussive rhythms and sweeping Piano and Keyboard instrumentation. There is a certain stylized over sophistication at times, but that can be forgiven, as the songwriting always eclipses the pseudo Kitsch overtones.

Some call it a New York style album. It’s not. It’s the reflections of a New York viewed through the eyes of an Englishman, particularly on Side 1 (the Night side). From the excellent rhythmic opener “Another World”, Jackson is the boy stepping through the wardrobe into a new vibrant, effervescent, challenging cityscape, and the hit single “Steppin’ Out” perfectly reflects an excited anticipation for the night life and glamour of the big city. The dark underbelly is also uncovered, with the help of Sue Hadjopoulos’ expansive Latin rhythms on “Chinatown” and “Target”, and reflect how life in a new town can push both one's excitement and fear buttons in equal measure. Each song on the “Night” side runs consecutively and sounds more like a suite of music than five individual tracks, and the effect works well; the only drop in quality coming from the David Byrne style rant (“TV Age”).

Side two kicks off with the moving Piano ballad “Breaking Us In Two”. It dramatically catalogues the break up with his wife, where he finds himself asking for separation to hopefully regenerate the love he has for her. The quality is maintained throughout with the cynical Latino “Cancer” and the rapturous closer, “Slow Song” which has an unbelievably powerful chorus that seems to soar into space, and wraps up a superb album.

On “Night And Day” Jackson threw away the Pop rule book, and pursued his own vision with stubborn independence. It remains his finest moment.



Recent reviews by this author
Rolo Tomassi CosmologyLCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy Hypocrisy Is the Greatest LuxuryThe Brakes The Beatific Visions
Patty Griffin Children Running ThroughKate Nash My Best Friend Is You
user ratings (8)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
related reviews

Look Sharp!

Comments:Add a Comment 
Inveigh
May 7th 2010



24178 Comments


"we'll beeeeeee.. steppin out, into the night.. leave the tv and the radio, behind, step into a car, and driiiiiive to the other side...."

love that shit. haven't heard anything else off this, but good review. It probably won't get many comments though, tis unfortunate.

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

Brylawski
May 7th 2010



709 Comments


IS SHE REALLY GOIN' OUT WITH HIM

IS SHE REALLY GONNA TAKE HIM HOME TONIGHT

BigHans
May 7th 2010



26455 Comments


Of course it won't, its 80's pop. I would bet 80% of the user base has no clue who this guy is, or they will assume its Michael's dad.

Good job on the review, Steppin Out is a great chill song.

Inveigh
May 7th 2010



24178 Comments


gotta love Anthrax's Joe Jackson cover too. TIME GOT THE TIME TICK TICK TICK TICKIN IN MY HEAD!!! TICKIN IN MY HEAD!!!

Brylawski
May 7th 2010



709 Comments


or they will assume its Michael's dad.

yep thats what i thought at first, then i remembered that song

BenHeller
May 7th 2010



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Here's "Steppin' Out" which was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inrEPapTtMM

Inveigh, I thought Anthrax did a great job on Joe's "Got The Time" too. It's one of those few occasions when the cover is as good as the original.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be7iNHw8QoQ

Inveigh
May 7th 2010



24178 Comments


Anthrax always did well with covers for whatever reason. Anti-Social was awesome too.

RobotFrank
May 7th 2010



344 Comments


Only heard "Steppin' Out" and "Breaking Us In Two", both of which kind of share a vocal melody. All good though, I'd like to hear the rest of this. A lot of great '80s songs now carry an association to the Grand Theft Auto game Vice City for me, particularly "Steppin' Out". Hearing that song takes me back there. Nice review, good to see another '80s pop aficionado around here. Keep at it.

BenHeller
May 8th 2010



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

GTA brought back a lot of great 80s memories Frank, particularly Flock Of Seagulls which is always associated with the game. In my opinion a lot of early 80s pop was very inventive because many of the acts were directly influenced by punk, new wave, electro/synth music. Thanks for the comment.

Nagrarok
January 4th 2011



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Steppin' Out, Breaking Us in Two, Real Men and A Slow Song all rule. Album gets really going on the second half.

undertakerpt
December 3rd 2012



1137 Comments


Hmm havn't got this one, will check it though.

Inveigh
December 3rd 2012



24178 Comments


rules



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy