Joe Jackson – I’m The Man

So, I’m sure Chris Ryan will be sad to have missed this day, it’s the one that he specifically mentioned before leaving, if I recall correctly.Joe Jackson’s “I’m The Man” is today’s pick.’s the Playlist:



Joe Freaking Jackson – I’m the Man: 4 stars

Precon: Before hearing the song “I’m the Man” a few months ago, I would have thought this guy was one or more of the following:
–a turn of the century black boxer and subject of a Ken Burns documentary
–the guy Ray Liotta played in Field of Dreams
–that singer-sonwriter dude from the early 00’s who had the album where he’s on the cover with like a raincoat pulled real tight over his face and he’s looking up and it’s raining
–the shooting guard for the Atlanta Hawks
–Michael Jackson’s father
Then I heard that song and was digging it so I looked Mr. Jackson up. Turns out he’s a goofy looking white guy and member of the Christopher Cross Holy Crap I Can’t Believe That’s the Guy all stars. I was also surprised to learn that he did “Is She Really Going Out With Him,” which I just remembered as a cheesy 80’s song. With all this conflicting information, I figured Record Club would be a good place to get to know him.

Favorite Track: I’m the Man. Was hoping to find something even better, but that’s a tall order. This song’s awesome. Don’t Wanna Be Like That, On Your Radio and It’s Different For Girls were strong contenders.
Least Favorite: Amateur Hour. Kinda Kute kinda rubs me the wrong way too.

Great meter in Geraldine and John.
The chorus in The Band Wore Blue Shirts seems awkward. I wonder if that was intentional.
Amateur Hour is one of those songs that would have always had me singing the wrong words if it were on the radio until one day when I asked someone why he says “Emma Jewels,” and then I would have felt really stupid.
I like half the songs a lot. The rest are decent for the most part. Joe and the band are very competent, I just wish they turned it up a notch more often. I’d rate this even higher if it didn’t seem like they left something on the table, but overall a successful curiosity pick and a good album.


Joe Jackson- I’m The Man

Preconceived Notions-The only thing I’ve heard of Joe Jackson’s is “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”  a song that always seems to be a pleasant surprise when the radio reminds me that it exists, but nothing that had put me in a desperate state to know more about said Mr. Jackson.  I’m not really sure what to expect

After Listening- This was a really easy listen, but that being said, it’s pretty much just the equivalent of vanilla ice cream.  I mean there isn’t even any bits of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mixed in.  All I can say is that it’s “ok”, although that is certainly more on the good side than the bad side.  I could easily listen to this again at work, or while cleaning my room, and it could be over before I even really realized it.  I feel like there’s absolutely no one in this world who could ever be offended by this album, but there’s nothing that reaches out and grabs me either.  Not that I always have to be accosted by an album, but there has to be something more there for me to take notice.

Favorite Track- Geraldine & John / It’s Different For Girls
Least Favorite Track-I’m The Man (the repetition towards the end just became too much)

Overall: 3.4


Preconceived Notions:  Is this Michael Jackson’s father?  Did he put out some cheesy record in the 80’s riding on the coattails of his kids again?  Did he bump Eddie Murphy for studio time?  Will there be a Chappelle skit about it somewhere in the future?  No?  Oh well then I have no idea who this is…

After Listening: Pop rock with a hint of new wave and a side of bland.  The musicianship on the record is passable with some nice moments, but overall it’s nothing jawdropping.  I was happy to hear that although the songs have attempts at being catchy, its clichés are not pronounced and annoying (like say on the Little Steven mess).  A lot of multivoiced choruses and strong bass lines move the songs along.  This sort of walks a strange line with me, not terrible enough to where I’m completely sick of it, but not done well enough so that the pop part of the rock sticks in my head.

Favorite Tracks/Least Favorite:  Honestly?  I hate to cop out, and I haven’t done this in a long time…but I got nothing.  And the record to me isn’t worth digging through to find little moments that might edge one song or another out, or up….

Overall: 3.0 This might be the most average record I’ve listened to in this experiment.  It probably deserves a full relisten, but with nothing sticking to me- I find it hard to be compelled to do that.  The songs weren’t embarrassing or grating, and the pop elements had hooks and decent construction.  It’s just at the end of the day, this thing is just a record…a record not unlike hundreds if not thousands of others….in fact, I wonder if I have heard Joe Jackson before and just forgot about it.


Joe Jackson—I’m the Man

Preconceptions: I don’t know anything other than Is She really Going out with him, and since I’m not sure about album names, etc, I may be thinking of the wrong person, and this is actually an album by Michael Jackson’s pops. Either way, I’m interested

After Listening: Not to ride Seth’s coattails, but “Elvis Costello light” is a really great summation of this record. I was engaged with this album until the last three songs, which I found to be inferior to the rest of the album. There are actually a couple of sings on this album that I would regularly listen to, I’d say. Joe Jackson is a good guy, now that I’m certain we weren’t about to listen to an obscure spoken word album from the patriarch of the Jackson—as in Michael Jackson—clan.

Favorites: I’m the Man, The Band Wore Blue Shirts, Don’t Wanna Be Like That
Least: Amateur Hour

Overall: 3.8 stars


Preconceptions: Joe Jackson means two things to me. The bland 80s “Stepping Out” era and the “Is She Really Going Out With Him” pop perfection era. I think this one falls right between those albums.

After Listening: It’s more ISRGOWH than SO. Sort of an Elvis Costello lite.

Favorite Tracks: It’s Different For Girls, I’m the Man, Geraldine & John
Least Favorite: Friday

Overall: I rate this as his 3rd best project after his debut album and his duet with Bill Shatner. While his contemporary Elvis Costello was in his Angry Young Man period, Jackson is content to play the Slightly Irritated Young Man.

Rating: 3.8
Extra Credit: Jackson & Shatner covering Pulp’s Common People:

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Record Club began in the cold, dank, snowmageddon scene that was New England of January 2011. We’re probably no different than you. We all work in cubicles, some in smaller, less private cubicles than others; that just means we have to be even sneakier about how we listen to our music. But we have to listen to our music, mostly as a way of saving our own personal sanity. Sometimes our opinions lead us to debates that may or may not be published in their entirety on this site, but I can promise you’ll at least get a glimpse of the way our minds work. The main goal is to find new music we like or find old music that we didn’t know we liked. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it’s a total and complete disaster. After our ears have rejoiced or stopped bleeding we try something else. This is our pattern, every Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes, when the club isn’t officially in session, just to keep everyone on their toes, we throw in a theme day. We’re beginning to run low on our original list, so please, if you have albums that you’d like us to review or themes that you’d like to see our playlist of, feel free to contribute. After all, we’re all in this together once we punch the time clock. So if you’re busy (or just plain bored) lurking in your cubicle as you read this join in. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived staring at a computer screen. I guarantee you, it’s at least more fun when you plug the headphones in.

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