Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
2016 will always be remembered for many things, some more bizarre than others, some moments which looked upon will always cause a shudder of pain to come rolling down the spine and others which leave only the memory of regret, anguish and a tear rolling down the cheek. It is in the loss of someone as artistically astute and obviously creatively beautiful as David Bowie that the year will arguably turn upon, that is will have deep resonance for years to come and yet out of that beauty steps forward Jack Spann and the album Beautiful Man From Mars.
Jack Spann has not only had the benefit of working with the late David Bowie on the British icon’s final album, but also having had the pleasure of being alongside the equally famed Tony Visconti and in his corner as he was introduced to Producer Gary Tanin, it is the match of imaginations that makes the Beautiful Man From Mars such an outstanding pleasure to hear and be immersed into.
The feeling of Vaudeville, of a stage and an entertainer having an audience enthralled by his words, his mannerisms and the cheeky asides as they raise their hat in welcome, this is the scene in which Jack Spann offers, not just a peek behind the curtain in which was embellished and decorated by working with undoubtedly one of the most iconic of men, but the hand pulls you in with smooth sincerity and the action starts immediately. It is the elegance of performance that makes the album so agile, so elaborate and decoratively rich and one that you can only smile at once it is finished.
To be influenced by a legend is one thing, but to take it further and beyond the expectation is quite another and in tracks such as Time, Lies, the superb She Makes Pornography on the Weekend, the fabulously playfully, and reminiscent of Genesis’ Harold The Barrel in its character Snooty Acres and of course the album’s title track Beautiful Man From Mars, Jack Spann is a music hero in the waiting; theatrical, illuminating and sincere, a beautiful man indeed but one who understands that the world truly is a stage, it is just that some take all the parts they can get and live them with absolute frank and creative honesty.
A perfect album, Beautiful Man From Mars is a soul enhancing treat.
Ian D. Hall