Sound Affects reissue, French review (N. Ungemuth) Click on it to enlarge or read it in English.

In 1980, Weller got the jackpot: Going Underground is n°1 in England and Eton Rifles, When you're young, Strange town were also big hits. The Jam are the biggest and most important band of UK. But, as anyone knows, Weller is not exactly the kind of man to sleep on his laurels, and he wanted to find a new direction. Sound affects is his dark thoughts obsessive ruminations' result and it's his favourite one. Fans would really often prefer Setting sons, the one before. The sound is different, more melodic, more "round" when Sound affects is more angular and abrasive. The reason is very simple: Weller wanted to leave his past influences. No more Who influence and no more soul covers (In the midnight hour, Heatwave...). He admits now than at the time he listened and appreciated Wire, Gang of four, Joy Division. But Weller can't really get out of his so obsessive teenager sixties influences et he was listening Beatles Revolver in a never ending loop, the absolute Beatles masterpiece. So the result will be the sum of influences and won't sound like Beatles or Who or Kinks, It's digested. Of course, he nicked the Taxman bass riff for Start and Scrape away has been influenced by the post punk era but for all the record, it's brand new Jam with this lp completely free of black music influences and Tonwshendlike manners. Even if the Jam has never been very pastoral, Sound Affects is a urban manifesto and except two cheerful titles (Boy about town, I'm different now) it's more a melancholic lp.

At the time, as everyone knows, Weller was not exactly the funniest fellow in town et it's the anger, bitterness and cynicism of the lyrics which has been the reason why a entire generation has been so loyal to him. These bitter and numinous songs are Monday, That's entertainment, Man in the Cornershop (of the man ;), Pretty Green, Set the house ablaze and Dreamtime. A fabulous torrent of sublime melodies and perfect guitars. For the 25 th birthday, Polydor added a second cd. Most of the bonus (Demo, alternate takes, Kinks and Beatles covers) was available yet on Extras and Direction, Reaction, Creation. If you're a completist and only look for absolutely unreleased, you'll only find a funny cover of Waterloo Sunset (The original chords pattern has not been followed step by step or not understood!), a different take for Monday, Pretty Green demo and a pretty poor instrumental.

Splendid reissue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Très bonne réedition , mais c'est vrai que j'avais espéré plus d'inédits ou du moins de prises alternative inédites.Mais c'est quand même un bon cadeau de Noel!