The Jam




album review


The Gift

ALTHOUGH THERE is every possibility that any of a hundred lesser known bands have the potential to one day produce as good an artefact as 'The Gift, in this flabby carcass of free enterprise only a lucky few are allowed to ascend to the dizzying heights of multinational mega stardom.

The Jam are such favoured sons yet Paul Weller writes and composes because he is a natural social commentator, a talented musician and emotionally articulate, not because of an innate desire to generate vast turnovers of wealth. If he was sweating behind a factory bench he would still be scribbling down his thoughts and observations into a notebook.

Every such communicator needs an outlet for their thoughts but the outlet granted to Weller makes a painfully sharp contrast to the common truths and warm humanity that his messages convey. Millions can be reached, souls can be touched.

A song like 'Going Underground' can capture the precise mood and feel of the times to a staggering anthemic degree.BUT ... any new piece of Jam product is deigned Top Secret by Polydor and zealously guarded as scores of pompous, myth making media hacks (like me) scramble over one another for scoop hearings and get ready to Proclaim The New Masterpiece.

It is the usual rock and roll bullshit that surrounds any top selling band but I wonder how much this disturbing but seemingly unsolvable dilemma of the pop industry bites into the Weller psyche and how much is he resigned into acceptance of these contradictions?

Somehow I think it is most sweet and fitting that a copy of the item, for so long talked about in revered hushed whispers, should be literally dumped unceremoniously on my doorstep on a damp , Saturday night. Let us unwrap this 'Gift'.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

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