Album: The Sleepy Jackson <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Personality, VIRGIN
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The Independent Culture

For a few tracks, Personality is mildly intriguing, with its blend of quirky vocals and big, eccentric production recalling the likes of Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips. Then as "Devil Was In My Yard" draws to a close, with its inflated folk-rock arrangement streaked with George Harrison-style strokes of slide guitar, it starts to become less mildly intriguing and more mildly irritating. After that, it's hard to enjoy the ambition of Luke Steele, who to all intents and purposes is The Sleepy Jackson: on "God Lead Your Soul", it's impossible to ignore how the chuntering horns and ethereal harmonies don't sit well together, nor indeed with the half-dozen other disparate elements stirred into Steele's stew. And when the hints at some grand theological theme in titles like "God Knows" and "Higher Than Hell" come to no obvious conclusion, the ensuing frustration doesn't help. Steele's work here has been lazily and mistakenly compared to that of Spector and Wilson, but there's no succulent centre of comparable songcraft hiding inside these over-egged, tune-dodging arrangements, merely the fantasy that ambition is the gateway to genius.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'You Needed More', 'Devil Was In My Yard'

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