Picks and Pans Review: Volume 4
Jackson is music's man of a thousand faces, a cabaret punker who plays swingin' jazz and writes symphonies. After wowing new wavers with "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" in 1979 he exhausted fans by switching genres with almost every subsequent album. To listen to his latest is like wandering into the multiplex to see "Woody Allen being chased by a giant chicken: Jackson is back to what he does best. Piano-drenched pop and snappy guitar lines take turns in the opener, the jaunty, finger-snapping, "Take It Like a Man." Reunited with his original band for the first time since 1980, Jackson keeps his eclecticism on a short leash, mixing hints of reggae and punk into peppy, hummable tracks whose lyrics bristle with caustic wit: "You feel her touch/Fingers like icicles/She needs you so much/ Like fish need bicycles." There is also a knockout ballad, one of the finest he's ever done: the wry and cautiously sentimental "Love at First Light."
BOTTOM LINE: Sounds sharp