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Joe Jackson, Night and Day II

Joe Jackson’s latest album, Night and Day II is a follow-up to his celebrated album, Night and Day, of 1982, in both name and theme.

The mood is a little more somber and surreal than its predecessor. Jackson’s trademark piano riffs are still present, but the synthesizers and poppy riffs are replaced by slightly more refined string arrangements and delicate melodies.

The 18 years (wow!) since Night and Day have been very experimental ones for Joe Jackson, as evidenced by some works of genius, and some real horrors (see Heaven and Hell, circa 1997). But thankfully, Jackson’s creative genius and experimentation seem to have coagulated nicely on this album, and the result is a very listenable and very appropriate follow-up to his most popular album from almost two decades ago.

Some welcome surprises include guest vocals by Marianne Faithful, on “Love Got Lost”, and Dale De Vere, who is known for being “one of New York’s and the UK’s most influential transvestite, drag, and transgendered performers “. Go figure.

This album will please old Joe Jackson fans as well as anyone else hoping to find unapologetically creative and original pop music. I heartily recommend it