John Alapick | Wilkes-Barre, PA United States | 01/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm The Man is Joe Jackson's second album and the followup to his debut Look Sharp! which spawned the excellent hit single "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" At the time, Jackson was part of an increasing new wave songwriter movement that also included Elvis Costello. But while Costello's career has been revered for continuously challenging himself musically, Jackson's career has become almost completely forgotten despite following a similar path.
This is a shame because Joe Jackson has produced some outstanding music over the years. I'm The Man continues the power pop of his debut and showcase Jackson's knack for writing great songs with memorable melodies and thoughtful and often personal lyrics. The album starts out strong with Jackson blaring his harmonica on the rocking "On The Radio." The tracks "Don't Wanna Be Like That" and "Friday" continue in the same vein as does the excellent title track. "Kinda Kute" and "Get That Girl" are great catchy pop songs while "Amateur Hour" and "The Band Wore Blue Shirts" are more introspective tracks that also work very well. But while all these songs are great, the best tracks here are the relationship songs, the should have been hit single "It's Different For Girls" and the reggae of "Geraldine And John." The musicianship of the Joe Jackson Band is very solid, particularly bassist Graham Maby who truly shines on "Friday", "Geraldine And John", and "Amateur Hour." This is a great album that has aged very well. Highly recommended to not only fans of new wave but also fans who just like good pop music."
No sophomore slump in music or remastering
doublehighc | California | 08/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album came out 9 months after Joe's debut with "Look Sharp!" It covers the same basic musical territory, but with perhaps an even better collection of songs. They are both way, way up on my list of all-time favorites.As with Look Sharp!, this is everything you could ask for in a CD remaster: dramatically improved sound, a killer live version of a Chuck Berry song as a bonus track, expanded album art, full lyrics, new liner notes, and a mid-range price..."
Not Your Average Joe
G. J Wiener | Westchester, NY USA | 01/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes an artist puts out a super debut recording and stumbles with the follow up release. This is definitely not the case with Joe Jackson's I'm The Man. Not to knock his solid debut, Look Sharp but the songs on I'm The Man are catchier and somewhat more diverse. On Your Radio, I'm The Man, and Don't Want To Be Like That are spunky rockers but It's Different For Girls and Amateur Hour show a tender side to the man. The drum rhythms on songs like Friday and The Band Wore Blue Shirts are ear catching as well.I am not familiar with the bonus track so I cannot pass judgement on it. However the original ten songs from my lp are excellent. Therefore the verdict is a two thumbs up. Way Up!!!!"
The band wore blue shirts and the music played on....
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 12/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While lacking the immediacy of "Look Sharp," Joe Jackson delivered the goods with his follow-up, the darker "I'm The Man." Starting with the revenge of the nerds anthem "On The Radio" and closing with the life-is-hell-but-we-don't-care worker cry of "Friday," Jackson was already rapidly moving away from the skinny tie pop showcase of his debut.
While "I'm The Man" doesn't boast anything near as confectionary as "Is She Really Going Out With Him" ("Kinda Kute" tried), Jackson's fascination with jazzier textures begin to blossom here. "The Band Wore Blue Shirts" looks at Jackson's days as a cover band keyboard player in a style that was more low-key than anyone would have expected, and "It's Different For Girls" began a strong streak of complex ballads that explored relationships between the sexes. (Think "One On One" and "Breaking Us In Two.") He also still had his rocker instinct, as the terrific title track slings barbs at the consumer culture and himself.
Jackson's first two albums were pretty much of a pair. He was still working out his aggression and trying to stay inside a genre he'd all but abandon in two more albums. (The liner notes to "Beat Crazy" had him questioning his motivation, ending with the sentence "Why did we even try?") But for this pair of original albums, Joe Jackson (along with The Police, Elvis Costello and Graham Parker) was proving that new wave was not as restrictive a form as its critics sometimes made it out to be."
New Wave/Pop crossover classic
Mons | Norrpan | 06/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fashion goes in circles. Take the first Star Wars movie for example. In the early1990s we rolled around laughing at Luke Skywalker's blow-dried 70s haircut. Watching the film today, that same haircut looks fairly modern. Indeed, the whole film looks like it was made yesterday. In music the same applies. Cheesy 70s fusion and pedestrian jazz-funk is today recycled and mass produced but today it's called `Lounge'. And then you have music which transcends fashion, purveyed by bands like Beatles, Stones, Elvis Costello, etc. Joe Jackson's first two albums - of which `I'm the Man' is the first - are classic examples. A perfect fusion of pop savvy, punk attitude and musical brilliance. Good, solid songs, simply arranged (guitar, bass, drums and the odd keyboard), and with lyrics that are at once funny, poignant and candid. There are no fillers but my favourites include the title track which is ferocious in its intensity, the wonderful `It's Different for Girls' (a top 10 hit in 1979), school geek-comes-good anthem `On Your Radio' and the reggae-tinged `Geraldine and John'. It was released in 1979, but sounded as good throughout the 80s and 90s and still sounds great today. If you like punchy pop with an attitude, you should check this one out."