BY JOHN B. MOORE
Coming immediately off a run of summer dates in 2018, Joe Jackson and his current band hit the studio to capture a group that was still very much hitting its stride musically. The resulting album Fool, Jackson’s 20th, still boats many of the jazz-infused pop trademarks that marked his post-big hit debut through much of the 1980s. It’s a solid set from the always dependable Jackson, if not a bit uninspired in places.
The album starts off with the ambitious “Big Black Cloud,” a dark song that sounds a little forced on the first listen but stays with you on repeated listens – one of the savviest tracks on the record. The breezy “Friends Better,” sounds as if it came off of “Look Sharp!”
Elsewhere, there are some songs that sound like they were last minute add-ons (“Alchemy” is so plodding you can almost watch time stand still), but taken as a whole, Fool still finds Jackson playing some of the best pop music out there, immune to fads and current trends.
DOWNLOAD: “Friends Better” and “Big Black Cloud”