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Just Jack - All Night Cinema

Just Jack, All Night Cinema

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

FOLLOWING the sheer bloody brilliance of Just Jack’s singles Embers and The Day I Died, I was expecting his sophomore album All Night Cinema to be a 5-star classic.

It’s not quite that… but it’s still a damn fine listen comprised of straight-out, hard-hitting pop songs, wrapped around Jack’s razor-sharp lyrics and acute observations.

If anything, Jack sets the bar too high with the aforementioned singles. Embers, in particular, is a barnstormer of a record that weaves multi-layered synths and strings around hand-clap beats and layered vocals to head-spinning effect. You’ll be singing along with the main sentiment “we are all embers from the same fire” before you know it.

Likewise, The Day I Died, which takes the form of a hip-hop flavoured pop song that combines a shimmering melody with cultural snapshots of everyday life. It’s a great summer track and exemplifies Jack’s ability to mix clever observations with head-nodding back beats and melodies.

Sadly, there’s not really another track to rival those two in terms of overall quality. 253 feels like a disco-biased floor-filler that’s more in keeping with the material on his debut than the progressive likes of Embers, while Doctor Doctor is a cheeky chappy effort that’s speak-sung rather than properly delivered.

There are traces of The Happy Mondays and Jamie T in delivery, with a funky groove and some catchy hooks to augment it. But where Embers really marks Jack out as an individual, comparisons fall too easily with Doctor Doctor and the diagnosis isn’t quite so good.

That said, there are still tip-top moments that make the album worth seeking out, and not just downloading in part from your local iTunes store!

So Wrong drops a funky bassline groove and some bongo-tastic beats before settling into a slightly more orthodox dance-groove number, and Blood taps into Jack’s darker side with a morbid tale of mortality that paints quite a vivid picture over a notable beat.

Title track All Night Cinema balances some nice guitar licks with a flicker-lite beat and some vocal harmonising for a nice observation on celluloid , while Goth In The Disco thrives on its dark electronic pulse. It’s a dancefloor filler.

Better still, however, is the riff-tastic, Happy Mondays-style Lo And Behold and the instrumental closer Basement, which both ensure that the album ends with a flouirsh.

Written and produced by Jack (co-produced by Jay Reynolds), All Night Cinema is evidence of an artist who continues to grow in stature. It contains classic moments but still leaves you (greedily) wanting more.

Download picks: Embers, The Day I Died, Blood, Lo And Behold, Basement

Track listing:

  1. Embers
  2. 253
  3. The Day I Died
  4. Doctor Doctor
  5. So Wrong
  6. Blood
  7. All Night Cinema
  8. Astronaut
  9. Goth In The Disco
  10. Lo And Behold
  11. Basement