Joe Jackson and his band went straight from the stage to the studio to record Fool, and his 20th (!) studio album displays plenty of the dynamics and energy usually found in live performances.
Released nearly 40 years to the day after Look Sharp! — his landmark 1979 debut — the songs on Fool are full of momentum, musings on the grinds and pleasures of modern living, and sounds that echo different stages of Jackson’s long career, a master class in never settling in one style for too long.
It’s fair to say that songs like the sunny “Dave,” the shimmering “Strange Land” and the album’s final send-off, the alluring “Alchemy”, recall the best of Jackson’s cosmopolitan style, and each succeeds exceptionally well as a result. Fool ranks among the best works of Jackson’s judicious career, and that’s a solid recommendation in itself – enough to suggest his best might still be ahead of him.