Stevie Jackson - (I Can't Get No)
It seems strange to be reviewing an album that's been out for well over half a year, but erstwhile Belle and Sebastian man Stevie Jackson has secured general distribution for his debut solo album, previously only available at shows and online. As the slightly more laconic sideman to Stuart Murdoch's earnestry, Jackson has progressively stepped out from his band leader's shadow, contributing at least one song to each B&S album since The Boy With The Arab Strap. He's tended to bring more of a pop sensibility to the band's sound and this collection, recorded over an extended three year period, showcases his fondness for 60s sounds with occasional diversions into loungier material.
Belle and Sebastian fans worth their salt will already have this album on their shelves, so the question is whether (I Can't Get No) can reverberate outside his usual constituency. The answer should be, generally, yes - although the milieu of "lavender girls" and "Twist and Shout EPs" is hardly removed from his day job. Nevertheless, Jackson has a fine grip of Zombies-esque chamber pop and, when the notion takes him, more up-tempo outright beat tunes like 'Try Me' ("I wish it was 1964, I'm still stuck in 1963"). The less sympathetic may find too much period pastiche and not enough modernity across all twelve tracks, but aficionados of WCSP (West coast Scottish pop - it's a real thing we just made up) should be charmed.