After many years of playing lead guitar and crafting lyrics for the Glasgow-based indie group Belle & Sebastian, Stevie Jackson delivers a long overdue solo album in a package that is charming, catchy and wistful to say the least. With melodies evoking the same ‘60s and ‘70s tone present in much of Belle & Sebastian’s prior works, the quirky (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jacksonis sure to leave listeners yearning for the classic pop standards of decades long passed, although this is not quite carried out in the cleanest fashion.Each song off the album differs in regards to lyrical depth, beat and experimental measures — creating a strange idiosyncrasy in terms of balance and continuity throughout the album. With some tracks, such as “Telephone Song,” the album explores deeper themes easily through simplistic lyrics (seen in “Man of God”), offers both upbeat tunes and ballads (as in “Bird’s Eye View”) with some tracks attempting to do both through mediocre verses. Because of these factors, Jackson’s album struggles to convey a sense of seriousness as a whole. However, the Scottish musician makes up for the shortcomings his first solo album with both his charm and smooth crooning voice, as well as his creative arrangement of instruments and background vocals for each of the tunes.Jackson incorporates specific pop cultural references and infuses old school melodic flares into his songs — ranging from Doo-wop to funk groove to vintage rock and roll — in order to create a sense of nostalgia for a musical era of the past. For long-time, avid Belle & Sebastian fans and supporters, this album will be a great delight. Though at the end of the day, (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson makes only for a fun and lightly entertaining listen, but it is nothing too spectacular or lasting in terms of musical significance or memorability.
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