Beat Crazy album cover
Beat Crazy

Joe Jackson

A&M Records

The third album by the Joe Jackson Band — and the last by its classic lineup, until they briefly reunited in 2003 — finds the group expanding its stylistic palette to include elements of ska and bluebeat: the single “Mad At You” is presented in “showcase” style, an extended mix that appends a dub version, while “Pretty Boys” is straight-up ska and other songs incorporate more subtle reggae touches, mainly in the drum sound. And the songs? Pretty great, and lyrically somewhat adventurous. Beat Crazy is crunchier and less immediately accessible than the punky power-pop of I’m the Man and Look Sharp, but there’s lots to appreciate for those who have ears to hear.

Rick Anderson

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