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Joe Jackson Band - Volume 4 (Cover Artwork)

Joe Jackson Band

Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4Volume 4 (2003)
Rykodisc

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

So I always knew that Joe Jackson existed. I've heard the name dropped many a time when referring to original and spunky singer/songwriters of present day. I even knew of his biggest hit - "Is She Really Going Out With Him" [you know, that song Goldfinger covered]. Most frequently, I heard his na.
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So I always knew that Joe Jackson existed. I've heard the name dropped many a time when referring to original and spunky singer/songwriters of present day. I even knew of his biggest hit - "Is She Really Going Out With Him" [you know, that song Goldfinger covered]. Most frequently, I heard his name associated with that of one Mr. Elvis Costello, and that's some pretty heady company to be compared to. So when "Volume 4" arrived in my mailbox, I figured that, while the man certainly has some history and credibility behind him, it would probably be another disappointing record from an aging rocker [i.e. Nick Cave's newest album], allowing me to wax nostalgic about the "good old days" [even though I wasn't even alive then], and wishing for a return to greatness for said artist so I could revel in their ability to write good music.

Basically, I figured this would be mediocre at best and I was dead wrong.

Coming 25 years after Jackson's debut, "Look Sharp," the man has reassembled the original band who played on his first three records [Graham Maby, Gary Sanford, and Dave Houghton], and it doesn't sound like they've missed a beat. Right off the bat, the album jumps into the rock foray with "Take It Like A Man," a drum-driven piece with stacatto piano riffs peppered throughout. The song really gets your blood pumping. The next two tracks, "Stay Alive" and the single "Awkward Age" showcase Jackson's uncanny ability to write a damn good pop song. The former will remind you of the Beatles, while the latter will make you think of the aforementioned Mr. Costello.

Joe brings the band down for "Chrome" and "Love At First Light," showcasing the quiet side of his songwriting abilities. Musically, it sounds a bit like a more somber Ben Folds Five.

The album continues to jump back into "rock" mode, though, so don't fret if ballads aren't your thing. "Fairy Dust," with it's wah-wah guitar and 5/4 time signature sounds a bit like modern jazz, but there's too much edge here to dare let you lump it in those quarters. Album closer "Bright Grey" is one of the punkest songs I've heard this year - this new crop of nu-pop-punk bands could take a lesson from this master.

And let's not forget what could be the comedy hit of the year - Jackson's hilarious sendup of hip hop poseurs in the song "Thugz 'R' Us." A wonderfully funny three-and-a-half minute ska tune, the song contains lyrics like "We got beer but we want some crack / we look white but we wanna be black." Joe's telling it like it is, and I for one won't get in his way.

All in all, this is a fantastically solid album, and it will surely please anyone who was ever a fan of his older work from the late 70s/early 80s [before he started doing swing albums and orchestral charts {sounds eeriely similar to Mr. Costello again, doesn't it?}]. There's not one song on here that I really dislike. Sure, they're not all impeccable, but considering if you total up the ages of all the guys in this band it would be over 200, this is pretty impressive stuff. I highly recommend picking this up.

Also, as a sidenote, the first pressing of the album comes with a bonus disc containing 6 Joe Jackson classics being performed live last fall, so if you're really into him you might want to get this ASAP.

Sample tracks from the album here.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (March 21, 2003)

Joe Jackson is the king. i'm gonna run out and pick this baby up y'all. oh, and thirty thousand punk points goes to anonymous for mentioning frank zappa. pick them up at the usual place.

johnnydanger (March 18, 2003)

Shoeless Joe Jackson? Say it ain't so, Joe

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

There is also a cover of an early Joe Jackson song by Tom Daily on the "Living Tomorrow Today" comp. which I think is reviewed on this site somwhere??

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

my guess for the bold is that scott is a cocksucker and wants to make sure everyone reads his reviews.

Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

rykodisc is the coolest label ever. its got frickin' FRANK ZAPPA. that guy rules

Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

I've been in Europe for a week...

Why the bolded reviews to the left of the screen?

Mikeshitter (March 15, 2003)

Tonight, I'll be dining on roast beef and mustard sandwiches.

Remember, just because above fat bastard does half the shit on this site, doesn't mean he has the right to pimp his shite tastes to all and sundry.

Go fuck yersel', Scott.

sickboi (March 15, 2003)

I'd always wondered how that was spelled, I think I heard it on Beavis and Butthead or something. Thanks for the clarification.

relay1112 (March 15, 2003)

it's "ass-spelunker" not "Ass- belonker."

good try though

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

I actually heard about Joe Jackson when Buck-O-Nine covered "I'm the Man"

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

joe is the man. its sad and unfortunate that the only way he gets recognized and credited is because of goldfinger.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Joe only did one swing album, which was pretty much his tribute to the great Louis Jordan, and inadvertantly inspired a whole lot of really awful "swing" bands with worse names. If you look at that track list, all of those songs have been covered numerous times by those bands. Your musical trivia of the day.

--Cos

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

wait, i missed something... why are some reviews in bold?

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Comment of the day award. "dance for food".

-sickboi

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

i always pictured tito jackson wearing a "will dance for food" alongside 9W in NY.

Ramo

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

I don't take criticism from anonymous posters. Its this thing called sarcasm, ever heard of it. Ass-belonker.

-sickboi

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Elvis Costello & Joe Jackson similar??
Haha, well I like both, but similar??

Marijn@emplane

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Have you ever noticed how similar Elivs Costello and Joe Jackson really are?

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Dude, I hope you're joking and not a dumbass, it is a different Joe Jackson.

Oh wait, what am I saying? Its sickboi, you are a dumbass.

jonbonbandersnatch (March 14, 2003)

i agree down with joe jackson

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

How can you people like Joe Jackson? He used to beat poor Tito, and Jermaine; and for god's sake he robbed Michael of his childhood. This disgusts me.

-sickboi

CrAzYJeb (March 14, 2003)

I love the 'I thought I thought I thought but I was so wrong' reviews.

Jeb

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Joe Jackson is the best musician of the 20th century

period.

marijn@emplane

evildeadalive (March 14, 2003)

Best Joe Jackson song's gotta be 'Got the Time'. I mean come on, Anthrax covered it.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

undeclinable ambuscade, or just undeclinable as they shortened it, made a fucking great cover of "is she really going out with him". So forget goldfinger, and track that down. And just get that whole undeclinable album while your at it.
Scott gets 6 punk points for joe jackson, but gets 15 taken away mentioning goldfinger. Remember, punk points are going to be way important when we have the raffle.
wyzo

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