Another of the weekís somehow-neglected gems, the debut album from Just Jack. This UK wordsmith/MC is part of the new school revolution in the UK, the one that has spawned the rise of The Streets and Audio Bullys. However, where The Streets are the stoner-friendly face from south of the Thames and West Londonís ëBullys have the dancefloor/garage angle covered, Just Jack, with his North London roots, takes a different approach. On The Outer Marker, JJ is more downtempo, more sedate, but hardly boring or lacking in an urgency. Imagine mixing Massive Attack with Stereo MCs and throw in a singer-songwriter vibe and youíre almost there. Just try listening to album standout ìSnowflakesî once and try not to get hooked. The storytelling vibe that permeates the scene is still present, but itís again done in a different manner than The Streets or Audio Bullys, but all the while still containing that certain something that ties them all together. Heís Just Jack, but sometimes things can be just great, canít they?
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN