Turin Brakes' third release blends the lighthearted escapism of their debut and the slickly produced escapism of their sophomore release for a satisfying, tambourine-slapping good time. Acoustic guitars are still the thing and Ollie Knights' voice is still a cross between Jeff Buckley and early David Bowie, but the songwriting has improved drastically. Knights and his duo partner, Gale Paridjanian, have never been considered the greatest lyricists, and while the somewhat improved prose on Jackinabox won't change that, the arrangements are much tighter than ever and cover up whatever lyrical deficiencies the charismatic, freewheeling attitude of the band doesn't.
Despite gradually shifting 200,000 copies of their debut, The Optimist, Turin Brakes have never quite consolidated the commercial breakthrough made in the days when they were leading lights of the ill-fated New Acoustic movement. Following 2003's underwhelming Ether Song, Jackinthebox quietly (how else?) preoccupies itself with their slip out of the limelight. There are lines about how "fame and fortune never last," and wistful glances back at "celebrity parties, the red carpet mile".