Jackson was in The Long Blondes, one of those bands we always thought we should listen to more but never did; slightly worthy indie.
This solo effort, coming eight years after songwriter Dorian Cox’s ill health caused the Blondes to split, is much more appealing.
A reasonable thumbnail of this would be a UK indie Fleetwood Mac (or even Tom Petty): she retains the Sheffield indie sensibilities but there’s a definite open-road slickness to many of the tunes. Opener The End Of Reason is a slick guitar-led rock/dance tune that you can well imagine being sung by Stevie Nicks while track two Homeward Bound could equally easily be a Tom Petty song, in part thanks to producer Bernard Butler’s guitar.
One of the strengths of the album is that, like Petty, she clearly has a clear vision of the sound she wants to achieve, and it’s consistently maintained throughout.
Metropolis is more indie, with a stomping beat (think a muted Doves’ Black and White Town), as is later song Lie To Me, but Wonder Feelings is more Petty while 16 Years opens with a long spoken section, and seems to be a take on Pulp’s Common People; the narrator of 16 Years wanted to be ordinary rather than common. It’s track five out of 10 and it does seem to be the track the album hinges on, with all the songs after being more British while keeping the steady beat of the earlier songs.