JOE JACKSON — Night and Day II (review)

JOE JACKSON — Night and Day II album cover Album · 2000 · Pop/Art Song/Folk Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Slartibartfast
Stories and the City.

My first encounter with Joe's music was Stepping Out (From the original Night And Day) on MTV. Didn't really move me to explore his music any further. When I finally did give the the original a listen a few years later, I really started to appreciate his song writing skills.

Night And Day one is basically a New York City themed album with nice musical diversity, as the city is, and so is Night And Day II.

It's basically a tribute to the city and the people who live there. All the songs are linked together making the album a single piece. It opens up with a short instrumental Prelude followed by a general tribute titletd Hell Of A Town. Having visited there a few times, I can attest to that.

Then on to the inhabitants with Stranger Than You. You might be pretty odd personally but...

"At 83rd and Amsterdam there's an Indian Jew Who pierced all his private parts with a permanent screw He sleeps on a bed of nails Which came from outer space And in my taller tales I gave him pride of place"

It's also about finding someone special amongst the especially odd.

Why has a nice exoctic ethnic feel to the music and is about an imigrant's point of view about the odd things you see compared to your familiar home country.

Glamour And Pain has a heavy disco flavor to it. A whore's point of view/story about a regular customer. Tosses in that piano riff from Stepping Out towards the end. Lead vocal by an actual drag queen.

Dear Mom. A boy looking for his sister who ran away and became a stripper. He finally finds her and she won't come home. Your left wondering if the son won't come back either.

Love Got Lost. Lead vocal by Marianne Faithful. Washed up old rich lady's lament.

Just Because... "you're paranoid, don't mean they're not out to get ya." A bit of an angry strings tune. "Need some non-alcoholic whiskey and Giuliani charm."

Happyland. About a fire in a Latin American night club and a couple. One made it out alive, the other didn't. Joe loves doing the salsa music.

Stay. "Here darkness never quite descends." Nice mellow wrap up to the suite.

It's a bit of a spooky album coming out not too long before you know what. Those now destroyed symbols of the city in a prominent spot of the cover. The city carries on. Joe is a wonderful composer and has put together a beautiful piece here.
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