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What struck me about this cd, in comparison with their other two, is the subtle element of 'soul' which lingers around like a vapour throughout (notably in tracks like 'Asleep With The Fireflies', 'Last Clown' and 'They Can't Buy The Sunshine'). What comes as a shock at first, soon feels justified by the concept of re-invention - the reason why this album should appeal more to the new fans rather than the old.
The highlight of the album (well for me anyway) has to be 'Buildings Wrap Around Me'. It's a beautiful combination of the classic ethereal Turin Brakes sound with the melodic string picking of artists like 'Gordon Lightfoot', who seem to have been forgotten in time's obscure ebb of trend. The result is a wonderfully balmy and tuneful guitar track, worth buying the album for alone.
With the abundance of meaningless synth littering the charts at the moment, it's hard not to be prejudice towards a lot of artists. What's true about the title 'Jackinabox' is that 'Turin Brakes' are are band who's (I don't like saying it) mediocre lyrics, and sometimes melodies, seem to keep them confined within 'the box'; however their passion is certainly still evident and this LP really shows that their music is just waiting to explode onto a new lateral level.
JackInABox contains well-crafted, largely acoustic pop-rock with nice softly sung vocals and exquisite guitar-work. The additional presence of tasteful slide guitar on several tracks gives it more of a US west-coast sound than the duo’s previous two LPs with the already quoted opener They Can’t Buy The Sunshine and Asleep With The Fireflies particularly benefiting from some superb six-string playing. Other highlights include the more acoustic opening single Fishing For A Dream and final track Come And Go which is gradually swathed by whooshing synths reminiscent to me of Stereolab, the resolutely uncommercial 90s indie band.
All in all it is indeed quite a blast and Turin Brakes deserve a good measure of fame and fortune for this accomplished LP. An excellent underrated album with some good songs and superb playing.