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4.6 out of 5 stars
I'm the Man
Format: Audio CDChange
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
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...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album is one of my desert island disks. The perfect first song, "On Your Radio," hooks you into a no-skip listening experience. Even the bubble-gummy "Kinda Cute," and "Get that Girl" make sense in context, like a sorbet to cleanse your palate of Jackson's acid wit. Although this is heresy among die-hard fans, I may like this better than "Night and Day," because of its rawness. The point is academic, though, because you need both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I purchased this CD based somewhat on the glowing praise here for the mastering quality. Then I received the CD. Compared to the original issue, it is "clearer", but at the cost of almost instant listening fatigue. This remaster is yet another victim of the Loudness Wars. Find the original issue of this CD. Avoid the remaster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Joe Jackson's 1979 debut, "Look Sharp," was a masterpiece of power-pop punk attitude. Almost immediately afterwards (well, that same year, anyway) he released "I'm The Man." The album is generally in the same style as the first, with some stellar songwriting and manic, inspired playing from Joe and his band. If I could, I'd give it 4 and a half stars. There are one or two songs I could do without, but overall, it's lots of fun and a great companion to "Look Sharp."
Personally, my favorite songs are the beautiful "It's Different For Girls," the manic "Don't Wanna Be Like That," and "On Your Radio." JJ's unlucky-in-love persona is in full force on the light but catchy "Kinda Kute."
Eventually, Joe went on to explore many different musical styles, including big band jazz (on the enormously entertaining "Jumpin' Jive"), reggae ("Beat Crazy"), latin-jazz-pop (the hit-or-miss "Body and Soul") and many other experiments that sometimes worked and occasionally failed. Love him or hate him, Joe Jackson is a highly gifted musical experimentalist and this is one of his best efforts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Joe Jackson's first two albums have always represented, to me, what was good about the New Wave/No Wave flash-in-the-pan of the late '70s to early '80s. I'M THE MAN is so packed with great songs that it has a "Best-Of..." kind of feel to it. The songs range from the reggae ballad ("Geraldine and John") to sensitive self-reflection (It's Different for Girls") to plain ass-kicking rock ("I'm the Man").

What's evident in this album is that Joe Jackson wasn't going to be hemmed into New Wave for very long; he was too diverse and talented for that. And sure enough he broke loose with the underrated JUMPING JIVE and the overrated NIGHT AND DAY. Still, this album and LOOK SHARP are the CDs I turn to for pure fun.

The CD has a great sound and the accompanying goodies make it well worth the very reasonable price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
"I'm The Man" was a quick follow-up to Joe Jackson's debut album and was released less than a year after his previous disc. Jackson continues in his new wave / punk vein with more catchy tunes that range frenzied punk smashups like the title track to piano ballads like the European hit "It's Different For Girls". This album could really almost be considered part II to his debut. The music and style are very similar. There is some autobiographical stuff here especially "On Your Radio" and "The Band Wore Blue Shirts" which tells the story of Joe's cover band days. Pretty much every song here is strong and is one of the better albums to come out of the new wave movement of the late 70's early 80's. This is an essential album for Joe Jackson fans.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
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!!!!
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