Jack Rubies

  • Jack Rubies
  • Fascinatin' Vacation (TVT) 1989 
  • See the Money in My Smile (TVT) 1990 

Everyone views romance in their own way, but Ian Wright, the singer of London’s Jack Rubies, has a very strange way of expressing affection. On the first song of the quintet’s debut, he offers “to be hung, drawn and quartered” to “Be with You”; in “You’re So Wild,” after describing the “spontaneous combustion…in my heart,” he admits to being “overcome…when you stuck out your tongue at that man.” The band’s unassuming acoustic/electric music — a pleasant pop style of no special character — isn’t nearly as colorful, but does provides a hospitable enough atmosphere for the offbeat musings.

More diverse and complex arrangements on the Pat Collier-produced follow-up decrease the prominence of Wright’s frank Lloyd Cole-ish vocals in favor of raising the band’s overall personality profile. A substantial and thoughtful album, with bits of western country flavor, See the Money in My Smile could be the prelude to something great.

[Ira Robbins]