Review - Night and Day

Artist: Joe Jackson

Night and Day
Label: A&M/Chronicles
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Night and Day

For a time, Joe Jackson existed as a sophisticated anomaly to the "pump it up" power pop of the '70s to '80s zeitgeist, pounding an unhip piano beneath complex rhythmic layering and wearing a suit at the same time. He was Vince Guaraldi, Billy Joel and Elvis Costello rolled into one droll American perspective, incorporating influences like suits he didn't care to wear. And, charmingly, his whining (at times grating) vocal delivery served a dose of "nyah nyah" to his pools of furrowed observation. "Night and Day," revisited here as a double disc with outtakes, demos and live renditions, is a frantic passport of an album, featuring signature hits "Steppin' Out" and "Breaking Us in Two" among such kitchen-sink adventures as "Target" and "Chinatown." A towering accomplishment it is, too, if still a little bit hard to get your head around.