Lame. It’s Saturday night and I’m stuck at home cuz it’s Passover. Tomorrow’s the second night of Passover and it’s also 4:20, how’s that for a high holiday (Hiyooooh!). Regardless, this weekend is uber lameness. I’m working during the day and pesach-ing at night. I might just kill something. That thing however, will not be my iPod, the beacon of hope in this dark, celibate time. On it are my sole providers of happiness. It’s like Kate Hudson says in Almost Famous, “if you ever get lonely, you can go to the record store and visit your friends”. So my friend/band for this week is…
THE SLEEPY JACKSON!!!
Hailing from Australia, The Sleepy Jackson is really Luke Steele and whoever he chosen to tag along with him in the creation of his huge Harrison/Wilson-esque sound. His high Bolan-esque tenor rides along the majestic waves of beautiful melodies and intricate George Harrison nicked chord changes. Two sentences in and we’ve already dropped “Harrison” twice, I know, but that’s because Steele is obsessed with the Beatles, particularly George Harrison. And with good reason.
Harrison’s solo output, though anything but consistent, was actually debatably the best of all the former Beatles’. How can I say such a thing? Easily. Sure Imagine and Plastic Ono Band are classic albums but their power lies in Lennon’s personal exposition, which is made more powerful by his incredible stature, both then and now. McCartney’s solo albums are great musically but they lack depth of thought and emotion. That’s why they made such a great combo; they had the opposite ends of the spectrum in full-force and, combined, were unstoppable. Separated they were still great, but lacking slightly in the department the other buoyed. Harrison, on the other hand, learned a great deal from both giants and battled to match them on his own, seemingly never being interested in intruding upon their duo-ness. By the end of the Beatles he seemed damn close to doing so, writing classics like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something and Here Comes the Sun.
Then the Beatles break up and everyone starts a successful solo career. It was Harrison, however, who was the most ambitious and successful with the release of the triple (fucking triple!) album All Things Must Pass (symbolic title, no?). It was on this album that all things Harrison reached their fruition and blossomed. His spirituality, masterful slide guitar, fantastic chord changes, interesting time signatures and depth of understanding are all displayed in their prime and if it weren’t for the third side of lame jams, the disc would probably be in more top ten greatest albums of all time lists. The album, produced by Phil Spectre (could it BE any more ambitious?) is seemingly the template upon which Luke Steele has decided to base all his music.
The Sleepy Jackson’s two albums, “Lovers” and “Personality. One Was a Spider. One Was a Bird.”, are both excellent albums, though it’s on “Personality…” that Steele seems to achieve his goal of recreating the best moments of All Things Must Pass when all the momentum is pushed to the forefront and gorgeous melodies and heavenly arrangements overtake the mind. If the album has one fault it’s for giving you pretty much exactly what you want, with variations on the same amazing sound from start to finish, whereas a truly classic album manages to sound completely different from song to song while maintaining the same top quality and artistic signature.
Regardless, the album is great, as is The Sleepy Jackson. The talent on display is really quite astounding when you pay attention to it, if you can keep my mind from blowing away. Unfortunately, that’s a task that proves extremely difficult when listening to The Sleepy Jackson.