11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the one-two New Wave punch in 1979 of both his debut album, Look Sharp!, and its immediate follow-up, I’m the Man, British up-and-comer Joe Jackson abruptly shifted gears. An accomplished musician, Jackson had expressed discontent with his gritty lyrics, but for his third album, 1980’s Beat Crazy, his restlessness extended to breaking through the precision pop of his previous output for alternate rhythms and sonic vistas. Reggae and rock-steady rhythms shadow many of the tracks and there are a few slow moving ballads to suggest Jackson would like to spend more time in the parlor at the piano — or in the experimental confines of the recording studio — than in the nightclub crying for attention. “In Every Dream Home (A Nightmare)” slows to a crawl with Jackson writhing in discomfort. “Evil Eye” skewers a spaghetti-western guitar against a tense, halting rhythm. “Mad At You” takes an unprecedented six minutes to explore its anger and the band’s instrumental prowess. After huffing and puffing through his first two albums, Jackson is determined to take his time here. “Crime Don’t Pay” still spits forth a torrent of words and complaints, but the band is allowed to motor along while Jackson catches his breath.After the one-two New Wave punch in 1979 of both his debut album, Look Sharp!, and its immediate follow-up, I’m the Man, British up-and-comer Joe Jackson abruptly shifted gears. An accomplished musician, Jackson had expressed discontent with his gritty lyrics, but for his third album, 1980’s Beat Crazy, his restlessness extended to breaking through the precision pop of his previous output for alternate rhythms and sonic vistas. Reggae and rock-steady rhythms shadow many of the tracks and there are a few slow moving ballads to suggest Jackson would like to spend more time in the parlor at the piano — or in the experimental confines of the recording studio — than in the nightclub crying for attention. “In Every Dream Home (A Nightmare)” slows to a crawl with Jackson writhing in discomfort. “Evil Eye” skewers a spaghetti-western guitar against a tense, halting rhythm. “Mad At You” takes an unprecedented six minutes to explore its anger and the band’s instrumental prowess. After huffing and puffing through his first two albums, Jackson is determined to take his time here. “Crime Don’t Pay” still spits forth a torrent of words and complaints, but the band is allowed to motor along while Jackson catches his breath.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the one-two New Wave punch in 1979 of both his debut album, Look Sharp!, and its immediate follow-up, I’m the Man, British up-and-comer Joe Jackson abruptly shifted gears. An accomplished musician, Jackson had expressed discontent with his gritty lyrics, but for his third album, 1980’s Beat Crazy, his restlessness extended to breaking through the precision pop of his previous output for alternate rhythms and sonic vistas. Reggae and rock-steady rhythms shadow many of the tracks and there are a few slow moving ballads to suggest Jackson would like to spend more time in the parlor at the piano — or in the experimental confines of the recording studio — than in the nightclub crying for attention. “In Every Dream Home (A Nightmare)” slows to a crawl with Jackson writhing in discomfort. “Evil Eye” skewers a spaghetti-western guitar against a tense, halting rhythm. “Mad At You” takes an unprecedented six minutes to explore its anger and the band’s instrumental prowess. After huffing and puffing through his first two albums, Jackson is determined to take his time here. “Crime Don’t Pay” still spits forth a torrent of words and complaints, but the band is allowed to motor along while Jackson catches his breath.After the one-two New Wave punch in 1979 of both his debut album, Look Sharp!, and its immediate follow-up, I’m the Man, British up-and-comer Joe Jackson abruptly shifted gears. An accomplished musician, Jackson had expressed discontent with his gritty lyrics, but for his third album, 1980’s Beat Crazy, his restlessness extended to breaking through the precision pop of his previous output for alternate rhythms and sonic vistas. Reggae and rock-steady rhythms shadow many of the tracks and there are a few slow moving ballads to suggest Jackson would like to spend more time in the parlor at the piano — or in the experimental confines of the recording studio — than in the nightclub crying for attention. “In Every Dream Home (A Nightmare)” slows to a crawl with Jackson writhing in discomfort. “Evil Eye” skewers a spaghetti-western guitar against a tense, halting rhythm. “Mad At You” takes an unprecedented six minutes to explore its anger and the band’s instrumental prowess. After huffing and puffing through his first two albums, Jackson is determined to take his time here. “Crime Don’t Pay” still spits forth a torrent of words and complaints, but the band is allowed to motor along while Jackson catches his breath.

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