"Twilight Theatre" (AIF Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Robert Jackson's two-disc "Twilight Theatre" is certainly ambitious. With 33 tracks and over 85 minutes in running time, the span of this CD alone is impressive.

Described on the cover as "33 eerie rockin' songs + tales of the supernatural, paranormal, horror + sci-fi," "Twilight Theatre is just that ... well, almost. In fact, roughly half of those 33 tracks are spoken word "introductions" that tell you a little about the subject matter of the next song. These introductions are all rather short (running from 30 seconds to just short of two minutes) but their spacing, though understandable, really takes the spontaneity and flow out of the CD, especially on subsequent listens. It might have been better to include the introductions only as liner notes and make the collection a single CD instead.

As far as the music is concerned, the songs on "Twilight Theatre" aren't half bad. Some of the songs are a bit stilted and rock clichés are spattered throughout the the disc (although they are all are put to good use), but each song is entertaining and appropriate to its subject matter. Jackson isn't the world's greatest vocalist but gets the job done. The real star on the disc, however, is the lead guitar solos which are the high point of virtually every track they appear on.

Overall, "Twilight Theatre" is a very entertaining project and, with modern CD players and software like Winamp, you can easily program the disc to play in its entirety when you want (there is some really interesting information in those introductions) or just program the actual songs to play when you're not in the mood for talk.

Performing on "Twilight Theater" are: Robert Jackson - vocals, narration, bass, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, lap slide guitar, banjo, keyboards, theremin, violin, percussion, drum programming, effects; Steve Bernstein - lead guitar; Enio Gaud - drum programming, some synth and guitar; Richard Hutchins - drums; Vita Izabella - back up vocal. 

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"Personal Jesus" (AIF Records; 1998)

Reviewed by Snidermann


Indie rocker Robert Jackson's unique musical style is ever apparent on "Personal Jesus." This music is slightly off center, sometimes cool (but sometimes not), and always very well performed and produced.

"Personal Jesus" is light rock - never heavy by any means - but full of thought-provoking and cool little ditties that score high marks for originality (or, you can substitute the word "strangeness"). Frankly, some of the tracks hereon didn't speak to me, but the overall ambiance of the recording was positive. 

The weirdest thing here, however, is in the liner notes. There, Robert Jackson thanks himself for having the drive and ambition to finish this release. What an ego! Tony Robbins would be proud.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 29 Sep 2023 01:09:33 -0400.