Success has done weird things to Just Jack. While his literate English pop peers--Lily Allen, The Streets--have responded to fame by becoming larger-than-life caricatures, channeling tabloid controversy back into the music, Jack Allsop’s third album is shy, understated--anonymous, sometimes. But if All Night Cinema
is more everyman tales than indulgent self-analysis, it’s a look Just Jack wears pretty well. Lead-off single “Embers” proves that some pretty moving productions are within his grasp, an emotive production of dancing violins, hand-claps, and harmonies that overlay in beautiful patterns, while “The Day I Died” demonstrates that the knack for casual storytelling that Allsop demonstrated on The Outer Marker
is still present and correct, a relaxed lope of acoustic guitar and thunking drum break that hides a bittersweet twist in the tale. Other moments might prove a mite relaxed for fans who like their pop with more edge, but the album’s only real misstep is “Goth In The Disco”, an unconvincing electro-pop pastiche that overreaches somewhat as it tries to rhyme “dance” with “ambulance”. ––Louis Pattison
Just Jack returns with his stunning new album All Night Cinema
, the follow-up to his smash-hit LP Overtones
. All Night Cinema
sees Just Jack at his blistering best. Produced and almost entirely written by Jack (along with co-production by past collaborator, Jay Reynolds), it is a genre-busting album, packed with infectious, catchy, hook-laden tunes. The new LP features straight-out, hard-hitting pop songs, wrapped around Jack’s razor-sharp lyrics and acute observations. Lyrically, he finds himself talking about everything from the sublime to the ordinary, eloquently depicting life in England in Jack’s very own inimitable way.