The Sleepy Jackson’s debut ‘Lovers’ was a real treat and would probably ease into my top ten of the decade thus far. It was like taking a time machine through the history of pop music – starting at The Beach Boys, mellowing out with George Harrison and stepping off with The Flaming Lips. There has been mutterings since the release of ‘Lovers’ that enigmatic frontman Luke Steele was to ditch the playful sounds of ‘Lovers’ and delve into colder, electronic soundscapes. But on first listen of Personality it becomes patently clear that Steele has stuck to paying homage to his musical forefathers – in particular Brian Wilson.
The undeniable highlight of ‘Lovers’ was the majestic and magical ‘Good Dancers’, and Steele seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from the sound of that song and has gone with it for a whole album. Whereas on the previous record Steele wore several different influences on his sleeve, creating an album full of contrasting songs, he has stuck to a more consitent sound on ‘Personality’, that of wonderful swooping strings and melting melodys. The album sags slightly during the middle but is picked right back up again with the stunning ‘Dream On’ – I swear in some parrallel universe this song is the soundtrack to some James Bond movie. Although I don’t think Luke Steele quite reaches the lofty hights he is out to achieve with this record there is a lot of fun to be had with ‘Personality’ and I look forward to see where the band will go from here.