Review of On Your Sleeve Album by Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin
On Your Sleeve
One Little Indian
Album Review

Jesse Malin On Your Sleeve Album

In what must be as bad a misstep as it's possible to take, Jesse Malin follows up his best album with his worst, by a distance only usually measurable in light years. Glitter In The Gutter brought him back some cred in a career that had started so promisingly, but was slowly faltering on the rocks of mediocrity. So where the idea for a covers album came from, Lord knows. Some of the selections are reasonable enough - Tom Waits, The Hold Steady, The Clash, Neil Young - but others just seem like a really bad busker's choice - Harry Nilsson, Sam Cooke, Lou Reed. Seriously, who needed another cover of Wonderful World or Walk On The Wild Side?

The biggest issue is that they all sound the same - knocked off, knocked out and loaded, over-emoted with his voice that, at times, sounds like Kermit serenading Miss Piggy. The cover of The Hold Steady's You Can Make Them Like You is shocking, but pales into insignificance next to the bright-eyed innocent take on Walk On The Wild Side. It can only be hoped that this is a contractual obligation, and that his mojo will be back for the next proper album.


Mike Rea

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