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album review | POP

Joe Jackson, ‘Fast Forward’

For his first album of new original material in seven years, singer-songwriter Joe Jackson trotted the globe and called on some first-class musicians — guitarist Bill Frisell, drummer Brian Blade, violinist Regina Carter, members of the band Galactic — to create his most kinetic and thoroughly enjoyable pop album since 2003’s “Volume 4.” The 16-track collection was recorded in New York, New Orleans, Berlin, and Amsterdam, with Jackson laying four tracks in each city. Although he employed different backing groups that explore several moods — from slinky soul to swellegant pop and vintage German cabaret — “Fast Forward” is held together by Jackson’s piano prowess and lyrical incisiveness. Whether he is grappling with his confusion with the modern world in the searching title track, mulling the delightful aggravations of relationships on “If It Wasn’t For You” and the joys of making up on “A Little Smile,” or working up a froth on his rage, rattle, and roll version of Television’s “See No Evil,” Jackson is in peak form.SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “A Little Smile”


Joe Jackson plays the Wilbur Theatre Oct. 22.