Robert Jackson

Personal Jesus

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The second release from New York musician and songwriter Robert Jackson, Personal Jesus is a noticeably better offering than his 1995 debut, Survivor of the War on Rock. That's not to say that this 1999 AIF Records release is very good, because it isn't. But there is a garage quality and at least acknowledged attempts at humor on Personal Jesus that, while far from competent, at least suggests that the musician has begun to recognize some of his limitations -- specifically within the realm of political and cultural commentary. The over-seriousness of Jackson's debut actually came off like an extreme parody (that probably wasn't intended). There is less of this kind of mystery surrounding Personal Jesus, despite heavy-handed tracks like "Gunfire in the Distance" and "Blood on Their Hands." Certainly this disc is an improvement for Jackson, but with such a long distance to cover, Personal Jesus doesn't quite make it to respectability, and doesn't deserve anything close to a recommendation.

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