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Published: 2013/08/01
by Ron Hart

Jackson Scott
Melbourne

Fat Possum

Are those Christmas Cracker hats those kids are wearing in that vintage photo on the cover of Jackson Scott’s outstanding and otherworldly debut album, Melbourne ?

That’s just one of the questions that will cross your mind when you listen to this thought-provoking dozen songs. In essence, it’s a psychedelic pop album that actually does its job, Falling somewhere between Ween at its spaciest, Sean Lennon circa Friendly Fire and Weird Era -era Bradford Cox, songs like “Tomorrow”, “Together Forever” (which, sadly, is not a cover of the Lisette Melendez freestyle staple) and “In the Sun” take the concepts of dreampop into the deepest depths of Syd Barrett’s madcap laughter in ways that perhaps even too out there for Robyn Hitchcock.

But for all of its extraterrestrial undertones, Melbourne shines brightest when it focuses itself on the Earth below, particularly resonant in the way by which Scott handles the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy on the song “Sandy”. “Little kids/ Sitting all around/ Wishing they were sound asleep again” could be the most heartbreaking and poignant piece of prose written about the massacre yet, as affective an image as a glossy snapshot of those poor kids the moment before Adam Lanza pulled the trigger on them and belying the jangly melody propelling the lyrics.

As a native of North Carolina, Jackson Scott proves to be a worthy addition to the South’s new school psych movement with this most arresting album.

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