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splendid > reviews > 9/20/2003
The Sleepy Jackson
The Sleepy Jackson
Lovers
Astralwerks


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Good Dancers"

Buy me now
One-man ego factory Luke Steele is apparently in love with the sound of his own voice -- he's the Aussie equivalent of Jason Pierce, prone to firing bandmates at the drop of a hat as soon as their modus operandi deviates from his own. Perhaps if Steele were to sit down for a moment and assess the situation at hand, he'd realize that a vast array of viewpoints are not only applicable to his work, but are de rigueur components of writing and recording a cohesive album. As it stands, Lovers is a whistle stop tour of auras, genres and convictions, all wrapped up in Steele's lovelorn whimsy and precise songcraft.

It's apparent from the jump that Steele is a talented troubadour (think Badly Drawn Boy without the wooly hat), but Lovers' vast scope quickly becomes a daunting proposition for its listener. In the space of 45 minutes, Steele plunders everything from Carnaby Street pop to punk rock a la '77, to protagonistic folk and even overblown MOR soft rock. While it's difficult to fault Steele for his ambition, particularly at a time when so many artists are content to wallow in shallow truisms, the divergent musical personalities on display throughout Lovers suggest not a troubled genius, but a sterling songsmith who hasn't yet found a singular voice.



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