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Overtones Enhanced

4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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  • Overtones
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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Jan. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B000KF0W4Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,042 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

A lot has happened between the release of Just Jack's first album and his second album, Overtones. When The Outer Marker debuted in 2002, it was overshadowed by The Streets' first album, Original Pirate Material. Now, though, Just Jack, a.k.a. Jack Allsop, is getting some long-deserved recognition. There are, after all, strong similarities between Just Jack and The Streets' Mike Skinner. Both artists have an ultra-laid-back and laconic delivery style, and both are quintessentially English in sound and subject material. However, where Skinner has made his reputation for his witticisms and cheeky observations, Just Jack is far more serious-minded. His observations are of a different world than the council estates of Skinner' lyrics. Instead, Just Jack spins tales of middle class ennui ("Lost"), an inability to communicate with his girlfriend ("I Talk Too Much"), or the loss of his youth ("Hold On"). But it's not all gloominess here: "Glory Days" skips along with a summery jaunty beat and a bright brass break that perfectly depicts the elation that comes after a period of depression. Like Just Jack himself, Overtones is mature and thoughtful, proving that hip hop need not necessarily be by, for or about kids. --Ted Kord

BBC Review

Most of us probably hadn't heard of Just Jack before the very end of 2006. Then suddenly he's everywhere – selling out gigs, hitting the top echelons of the charts and appearing on every television show that'll have him. Little did we know that he'd done all this before with debut album The Outer Market, released in 2002. He didn't have the benefits of a major label behind him then and his single charted 162 places lower than "Starz In Their Eyes" did. His breakthrough hit, an ode to the 15 minutes of fame culture, shouldn't be mistaken as a one hit wonder.

It'd be easy to label Jack as the new Mike Skinner. After all he is from that same urban decadance camp of talky-singing over toe-tapping melodies. But there's something very different about Jack. While The Streets have a whale of a time sampling house and garage styles, Jack is much more chilled out, working instead with a groovier hip swing. The quite astounding opening track "Writers Block" has a shuffling disco bassline while "Hold On" takes a 90s piano based funky house track complete with rousing female vocalist and transforms it into a haunting melody perfect for a Baleric sunset.

Honest to the core, Jack doesn't want to just accept what life has dealt him. He questions and analyses everything thrown at him. During come down track "Disco Friends" you can imagine him in a nightclub standing on the edge of a dancefloor furiously scribbling lyrics into a notepad.

Despite describing himself as a 'cheeky chappy' not everything is as chipper as "Starz In Their Eyes". The Specials-esque could-be Bond Theme "Lost" and emotional penultimate track "Mourning Morning" are two examples. In the latter he bemoans the loss of a relationship set against lush melancholy strings, Jack sings "I really want you to stay but I know you have to go." It's almost the sentiment we feel when coming to the end of this album. We’re glad you’re back Jack. --Talia Kraines

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Like most newcomers to just Jack I heard "Stars in there eyes" and thought what a great track, who is this guy. Now I find myself sat here 3 hours later having listened to Overtones 3 times over and over again. It gets better every time believe me. The funky tunes get funkier, the streetwise lyrics get more street. This is truly great, modern british music. This guy deserves a lot of props and in my humble opinion is streets ahead of the Street, really does skin Skinner. No time, Writers Block, Disco Friends my favourite tracks.... Roll on the third album...
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By Brit Boy TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2015
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album after hearing the insanely catchy feel-good hit single 'Starz in their Eyes', dealing with the double edge sword of overnight fame, and was excepting more of the same. It came as quite a surprise then, that not all the other songs on 'Overtones' are quite as upbeat, but that certainly isn't a bad thing, not when most of those tunes are just so cool, and the lyrics, loaded with plenty of attitude and wit, are as good as they are. The other hit single, the feel-good for the Summer 'Glory Days', and the funky album opener 'Writer's Block', are two more tracks that really standout on this album, released in 2006.

A lot of the tracks deal with Jack feeling low and full of despair, drug use is mentioned several times in other songs, but this isn't a depressing record at all. We also hear how Jack turned his mood and life around in the same song, which is virtually what 'Glory Days' is all about, and I found this very refreshing, particularly as someone who is slowly overcoming depression and anxiety. When you're feeling low, get this one played on repeat, listen carefully to the words, take them on board, and it really does help.

If you like funk/electronic music, you'll like 'Overtones' for sure, and be won over by Jack Allsopp's very distinctive voice and positive attitude. On record, he sounds quite similar to fellow top artists like Jamie T and The Streets, but certainly has his own identifiable style.
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Format: Audio CD
It's definitely not a 'hard' album but there are still pleasures to be found in it.

Obviously there's the smash hit Starz In Their Eyes but that aside there are snippets of good music which get overlooked a little bit and need to be played quite a lot - there's quite a lot of funk, always a good thing in my book.

It is only him, and therefore there's not going to be choruses and guitar solos.

The story of young men in their twenties with nowhere to go and nothing to do is pretty good - shame it's such a common aesthetic.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the best whole albums I've ever had the pleasure to listen to. The guy is pure genius with his lyrics. Backing vocals when needed are always on point. Each song tells a complete story. Not like most of the crap that fills the charts nowadays. I will enjoy listening to this album for many years to come. His second album all night cinema was equally as good, Just Jack is an artist I admire in many ways and I hope people enjoy his music as much as I do.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this album so much!
Sometimes when I hear the innane whitterings that some artists attempt to pass off as lyrics (you know who you are Mr Mc Cartney,) I despair. Three wonderful minutes in which you get your message across; in which to communicate something intelligent or meaningful, and they say doobeedootralala nothing.
But I love this album....(ooh, did I say that already, please excuse me, I confesss to being slightly obsessed).
The tunes are funky, the lyrics poetry, and it has rarely been out of my cd player since I bought it. Every time i listen to it it just gets better. I especially love "No time", which is the cheeriest interpretation of a destructive relationship I have ever heard. Buy this album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Really like this album and I didn't think I would.

First time I heard Just Jack was when a single from this album, Stars In Their Eyes, was on a music channel and I didn't like it. I found his voice annoying, it was repetitive, and didn't like the lyrics either. However, this album is kick ass! Really fond of the song Writer's Block with its super funky bass line.

I think youngsters in general can relate to the lyrics of the song of having little enthusiasm, motivation, or hope. He sings a bit about smoking weed and getting 'weed psychosis'. But although some of the lyrics are of a depressing time in his life, he turns them around and sings about how he is past all that now. It is nice to hear of someone else who is struggling but comes out the other side. The song Glory Days is all about this.

I think this is a good album to restore your faith in modern music. if you lost it like I once did. Lyrics are heacy focused and I think they speak to a lot of youngsters or people who were once one. Think he has some original ideas, interesting breakdowns and such. Altogether, 12 original songs that hold ground on their own and work as well together as Kane and Able ;)
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Format: Audio CD
The follow-up to the patchy `The Outer Marker' is a little gem. Jack Alsopp's lackadaisical vocals coupled with hip-hop beats and topped-off with a Disco sensibility, is as intelligent, witty and droll as anything by Morrissey, Neil Tennant, Mike Skinner, Eminem or Paul Heaton of The Beautiful South; whilst the standout track 2007's ubiquitous `Starz in Their Eyes' - a searing indictment of fleeting fame - is merely the icing on a very impressive cake. Other key tracks are the cheeky `Glory Days' and punning `Disco Friends', but every one's a winner on Overtones; let's just hope Jack gets the recognition he so richly deserves.
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