I can't remember the first time I heard The Sleepy Jackson, but this album, in particular, has been one of those I go back to time and again. It is, quite simply, superb. It's also a testament to Luke Steele and his multi-faceted talents. As you're about to read, Mine feels exactly the same way about him as I do.
The Sleepy Jackson are another of those bands that not only provide me an emotional attachment to their music but also inspire me to be creative as well. The frustrating thing is that I'm often listening to this at times and places where I can't just run away and lock myself in my little studio. I mean, I do have to spend some time socially interacting otherwise I'd be accused of being a recluse. And I'm just too young and good-looking to wear such a tag.
As a debut album, Lovers stylistic range is a wide as as this great island we call home. There's a little bit of just about everything in it, showcasing Steele's quixotic musical nature, from the alt-country stylings of Old Dirt Farmer through to the indie dance of Tell The Girls. More tellingly, Lovers sounds particularly Australian without resorting to clichéd devices or using a didgeridoo, while also sounding positively international. I believe in years to come, this album will be hailed as one of the greatest documents of its time.
If you've not heard any Sleepy Jackson before, don't waste any more time reading this. Click here or here and see for yourself. I will say it again: it is superb and you won't be disappointed.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
I love Luke Steele and I don't care who knows it. I previously mentioned his side project Nations by the River in our Gomez review, and I'm hopeful the pointy stick will land on Empire of the Sun sooner or later. To quote Ben Lee: They play Sleepy Jackson on the radio/ And that's the way I like it.
Luke is another one of those frighteningly-talented musicians (YourZ sez: the only thing frightening about Luke Steel is his penchant for makeup) who can just roll out pop song after pop song, and it makes me so glad he's an Aussie - though he does hail from West Australia, which is like another country to me. No, REALLY like another country. OK, how about I put it this way: Perth (the capital of WA) is more than 3,300 kilometres away from Sydney, where I live. It would take me five to six hours to fly there. That's less than LA to New York, but still... there's a whole lot of NOTHING in between, unlike the USA, which is supposedly filled with shopping malls and obesity (how they manage to fit all those people in when they're getting fatter every year is beyond me). The last time I visited Perth I was five years old, and arrived by ship from Singapore. The only story I know about my time there is that I managed to give my parents the slip and wandered off hand in hand with a nice lady I picked up, chatting freely. How little we change...
But I digress. Lovers is a great album, moving from pure pop to alt-country, with nods to the Beatles and the Velvet Underground. Luke's voice in this incarnation reminds me of the softer songs produced by seminal punks the Saints (from across the other side of Oz) and his voice is a little reminiscent of their lead singer, Chris Bailey. This CD is dangerous to play in the car, as one track makes me want to lie back and close my eyes, not recommended on the freeway. And I love how the final song - Mourning Rain - ends with the sound of rain.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
For more information: http://thesleepyjackson.com/
In our collection, we also have Personality - One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird