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He's the Man

And that's Mr. Jackson if you're nasty

Indeed, Jackson seems to be moving away from angst and cynicism, attempting instead to forge connections that might combat the vacuity of modern life. "Love at First Light," a morning-after song, wonders if "maybe there's room for more laughter/'Cause just for a moment I almost believe/In love at first light"; elsewhere in the song, he confesses that "maybe I'm moonstruck, or maybe naïve/But I know there's a God and a Devil."

Reports from the tour have been consistently positive. Audiences have responded with raucous enthusiasm to shows that mix old with new, seamlessly eliding the passage of time. The reunited band's success is no surprise, really: Jackson didn't even try to replace Houghton when he left 25 years ago because the band had such great chemistry; they haven't lost it in the intervening years. It's clear that Jackson and his mates have had a great time being back together: His arrangements encourage them to play against each other in unexpected ways, keeping the tempo high and creating a surprisingly fat sound. Jackson's personal code should usher in fans eagerly awaiting Saturday night's performance: "Expect nothing but be ready for anything."

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