The second disc by Toronto group Jacksoul offers a stylish visit to the old school of soul, albeit with some shiny new-school production values. Though Jacksoul's 1996 debut, Absolute
, was more of a group effort, here Jacksoul seem less a band than a vehicle for vocalist Haydain Neale, whose slightly gruff and highly expressive voice recalls that of soul legend Bobby Womack. Neale wrote and recorded much of Sleepless
in collaboration with the highly prolific team of Jon Levine and James McCollum, members of Toronto's Philosopher Kings who also record as the cartoon act Prozz"äk and made hits for teen act b4-4. It was Levine who wrote and produced Sleepless
highlight "Can't Stop," which became ubiquitous on Top 40 radio thanks to its catchy combination of strummed acoustic guitars, an infectious trip-hop beat, and Neale's romantic expressions of everlasting devotion. Levine and McCollum's contributions tend to be more distinctive than Neale's more generic efforts, but Neale's slow-burning "Don't Tell Me" serves as a memorable climax for Sleepless
. A sleek, slinky cover of Hall & Oates's "She's Gone" (co-produced by Levine and Toronto rapper Jelleestone) is another highlight on a disc that seems tailor-made for late-night listening. --Jason Anderson
The sophomore album for Canadian acid jazz/dance act, the followup to their hit debut Absolute. 13 tracks including the first single 'Can't Stop'. 2000.