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The Sleepy Jackson 

Personality. One Was a Spider. One Was a Bird.

The Sleepy Jackson
Personality. One Was a Spider. One Was a Bird.
There are few people that fit the insane genius tag as snugly as Luke Steele. After alienating line-up after line-up of musicians signing on to make up The Sleepy Jackson, the religious fanatic Aussie has returned with Personality. One Was A Spider. One Was a Bird. While his Stateside debut, Lovers, was a somewhat cluttered affair that dropped hints of brilliance, this sophomore effort instead zeroes in on distinct, massively orchestrated sound. Starting on opening track “You Needed More,” the album’s lush backdrop never subsides. While The Flaming Lips’ Soft Bulletin and Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds were obvious key-point references in early production meetings for the disc, Steele shapes this sound in a way that is distinctly his own. One example, “I Under-stand What You Want I Just Don’t Agree,” could essentially be an S-Club 7 song, but is somehow saved by quirky melodies and offbeat lyrics. Likewise, “Play a Little Bit” turns Brian Wilson and The Bee Gees influences into a truly bizarre, curiously dark piece of music. Despite its many high points, Personality begins to blend into itself after about five tracks. Still, this is an epic work. Wait for a few more broken hearts, a possible substance abuse problem and a nervous breakdown for good measure and this kid’ll be making your favourite records.
—Matt Charlton
categories: Coast pick

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