Kate Jackson – British Road Movies
The equal – at least – of the two dazzling artworks she delivered with The Long Blondes, Jackson's solo debut comes eight years after guitarist Dorian Cox's unexpected stroke caused the Sheffield band to split. No fear: Jackson's "big pop record" is worth the wait and then some. Produced by Bernard Butler, its ten tracks hum with greedy ambition.
From pulsing dance beats (six-minute opener The End of Reason), barrelling, breakneck funk (Metropolis, Stranded) or blissed-out guitar pop (Homeward Bound, where Butler's Les Paul and Jackson's rarely heard higher register combine to dizzying effect), British Road Movies showcases a clear-sighted and absorbing vision.
By the time the spoken word 16 Years unravels a memory haze, filmic in its detail ('Your house was bright with dirty patterned carpets / I wish I'd said how much I'd wanted to be ordinary…like you'), all bets are off. Jackson's return is a wonder of creative design and timeless, classic style.