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The Outer Marker

Just Jack

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Album Review

With one foot in British garage and the other in soulful pop, it's easy to refer to Just Jack as the Streets lite or an inventive Robbie Williams. The fact is, however, that Just Jack crosses the lines of both spheres with ease while dabbling in several other genres as well. He begins The Outer Marker with the smooth "Let's Get Really Honest" and "Paradise (Lost & Found)," but quickly shifts the mood with "Lesson One," a replica of the Streets that even mentions that "it's hard sometimes trying to be a geezer." "Snowflakes" brings Just Jack's brooding side up a notch with the whispering, nearly haunting lyrics "Sometimes it feels like I'm looking through a pane of glass/I can see your mouth move but can't hear the words." He's not as successful with the funk on "Contradictions" or the electro-inspired "Snapshot Memories," but The Outer Marker is still an ambitious debut.

Biography

Born: 18 May 1975 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sometimes a little Madness can help a lot. Jack Allsopp — better known as Just Jack — had worked as a flower arranger, gardener, and cleaner ("anything to put crust on the table") before he landed a job at RGRecords. Allsopp casually handed over a copy of his demo to the label's owner, Chas Smash, the man who used to sing and dance up a storm in Madness. Smash fell in love with Just Jack's sound and quickly signed Allsopp to a four-album deal. It was a long time coming for the Camden,...
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The Outer Marker, Just Jack
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