Release Date: Oct 2, 2015
Record label: earMUSIC
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Pop/Rock
Joe Jackson was one of the first new wave/proto-punk artists whose affinity for insurgence seemed to be matched only by his unapologetically melodic sensibilities. Like Elvis Costello and Graham Parker, Jackson was a new kind of rock rebel, one who identified himself as an angry young man, but still had the good sense to stay within traditional parameters, perhaps to ensure his own hit potential and gain potential recognition from the mainstream. That determination paid off, thanks to a recording contract with A&M records and a string of hits that included “I’m the Man”, ”Sunday Papers”, “Is She Really Going Out With Him” and “It’s Different for Girls”, songs that offered a bemused reflection on male/female relationships from a macho point of view.
Joe Jackson is a gifted pop songwriter who clearly believes that isn't enough for him. Jackson has been pushing at his own boundaries for decades, embracing jump blues, cool jazz, and swing in the '80s, abandoning pop for classical and symphonic music for a few years in the '90s, and reworking a set of Duke Ellington pieces on 2012's The Duke. Jackson's ambition is as great as his talent, but his talent has always been best served writing intelligent pop tunes, and his most earnest efforts outside the form have also demonstrated just where his skills wear thin.
He’s pretty much done it all since arriving in the late 70s as a self-styled “spiv-rocker”. Yet Jackson’s first album of new music in seven years is a genuine first – four groups of four songs recorded in New York, New Orleans, Berlin and Amsterdam, with different musicians. All but two are self-penned, an interesting exception being Television’s See No Evil.
For his first album of new original material in seven years, singer-songwriter Joe Jackson trotted the globe and called on some first-class musicians — guitarist Bill Frisell, drummer Brian Blade, violinist Regina Carter, members of the band Galactic — to create his most kinetic and thoroughly enjoyable pop album since 2003’s “Volume 4. ” The 16-track collection was recorded in New York, New Orleans, Berlin, and Amsterdam, with Jackson laying four tracks in each city. Although he employed different backing groups that explore several moods — from slinky soul to swellegant pop and vintage German cabaret — “Fast Forward” is held together by Jackson’s piano prowess and lyrical incisiveness.