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iTunes Review

Like his contemporary Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson came of age during the late ‘70s New Wave movement with short, spiky pop tunes that mixed love with rage. Also like Costello, Jackson was a multi-dimensional musician determined to break past the limits of his ‘angry young man’ image. As the years passed, Jackson lost his commercial momentum as his stylistic jumps to reggae, classical and jazz-tinged pop confused audiences and music marketers alike. In 2003, he reunited with his original Joe Jackson band for the one-off Volume 4. Then in 2008 Jackson returned with two-thirds of the group for the smooth, mature adult pop of Rain, an album less connected to his debut album, 1979’s Look Sharp!, than the mellow countenance of 1982’s Night and Day. The swooning falsettos of “Wasted Time” and “The Uptown Train,” alongside Jackson’s trilling piano cadences make for succinct nightclub pop. Jackson’s unhurried approach — his tempos and his years between releases — enables a high songwriting standard that plays to his strengths. And he continues to self-analyze and self-mock, as he sums up his career wryly as an “Invisible Man.”

Customer Reviews

Nice return to form for Joe

Elegant, energetic, (dare I say it?) beautiful album from JJ. A return to the type of work he did in the early-mid 80's, but updated. The piano work is especially nice. Even his singing has improved over his career. Unless one is a true fanatic and just has to have the videos, buying individual tracks is the way to go. Apple is getting S***ed here by having to offer DRM-encoded tracks, as their competitors aren't doing so.

Joe Brings Back The Greatest Sounds From All Eras

Rain combines all of Joe's styles: stylistic, lyrical pop (Wasted Time), straight-forward rock with a big sound (King Pleasure Time, Good Bad Boy), sophisticated classical flourishes (Solo [So Low]) and a deep, jazzy groove (The Uptown Train). Too Tough and Invisible Man are remarkable songs that should get some airplay. Simply put, this is Joe's BEST PIANO PLAYING in his career. The lyrics, while still sarcastic and personal, have a polished touch this time around. You will not believe Joe's vocals -- he is hitting notes that no 54 year-old can -- if you're wary of buying a trio album, know that his soulful voice makes the songs rich, complex and full of story and intrigue. This album has been a long time coming -- his classical and instrumental projects have been unique, but Joe is at the core a classic songwriter, and these ten songs are the best collection since 1982's Night and Day. Do yourself a favor and get tickets to a JJ show -- he'll start the US tour at the Keswick Theatre near Philly, and I'll be there!

Thank you Joe Jackson trio for continuing to share your beauty!

Rain, features the trio format of the live "Summer in the City" release, which is simply fantastic. However, this time instead of reinventing a 30 year repertoire, they have created yet another incarnation of the Joe Jackson soundscape. Sparse and tonally sweet. Joe's voice and songwriter are superb on this one! Graham continues his career as the consummate electric bassist, and David's tasteful percussion chops are like a fine wine. If you are a fan of any of Joe's 30 year career, you will be glad you bought this one. And catch the band this tour if you can (for me since I will out of the US).

Biography

Born: August 11, 1954 in Burton-upon-Trent, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In his 1999 memoir, A Cure for Gravity: A Musical Pilgrimage, Joe Jackson writes approvingly of George Gershwin as a musician who kept one foot in the popular and one in the classical realms of music. Like Gershwin, Jackson possesses a restless musical imagination that has found him straddling musical genres unapologetically, disinclined to pick one style and stick to it. The word "chameleon" often crops up in descriptions of him, but Jackson prefers to be thought of as "eclectic." Is he the Joe...
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Rain, Joe Jackson
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