Joe Jackson – Night and Day II

It’s always a treat to get a new Joe Jackson album. He started back in 1979, doing straight Pop, then he touched Rock, Big Band, Jazz, Swing and Classical. Maybe he hasn’t been in the charts for ten years, but the albums he’s released since then are the best he’s ever made.

Night and Day II is no exception! This album is a return to the concept of 1982’s Night and Day, a night and a day in New York City. As Jackson says, there are so many things to see in New York City and so many stories that it was worth coming back to for a second look.

Oddly, the synth basses sound like real basses and the programmed drums sound like the real thing.

The album starts with a little drum pattern and synthesized (although you’d never tell) violins. Then in Hell of a Town, Joe pretty much gives his reason for the album. The songs all fall INTO one another, making the whole thing a nice suite.

Nice vocal work on Why by Sussan Devhim and on Glamour and Pain by Dale Devere. A bit of a strange voice, difficult to actually say whether it’s male or female, though still rather nice for the concept.

Dear Mom is probably the best song on the album, although they are all good. Love Got Lost is perhaps a little out of place on the album, but it features the great vocals of Marianne Faithfull. For those of you who don’t know who she is, she’s one of the original women of rock FROM days of long ago.

With Love Got Lost and Just Because, the album takes a darker stride which is remedied with Happyland, a pleasant song with more or less of a Latin beat and piano. The album ends with a piece called Stay.

Overall, a nice mixture of Jazz and Rock with a touch of Pop. Well executed. The only fault I could find with it is that it ends too soon.