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The Gift (Remastered)

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Album Review

As good mods, the Jam always had a healthy respect for R&B and soul — even the first album featured the revved-up Northern soul of "Non-Stop Dancing." With The Gift, however, Paul Weller seems to have become completely absorbed in it, and more specifically, in Stax-style soul with more than a hint of psychedelia à la "Psychedelic Shack." An uneven album marked by overindulgences like the instrumental "Circus" and unnecessarily long songs, The Gift still has no shortage of terrific songs, like the simply sublime "Ghost," "Town Called Malice" (the hit), and the funk workout of "Precious." Weller can obviously do "soulful" — his voice has never sounded better — but unfortunately, The Gift, with its excesses and marginal tracks, doesn't show his talents in the proper light. Points for ambition, but ultimately, this is their least consistent effort since This Is the Modern World.

Customer Reviews

Not their best but still terrific

The Gift is a patchy album when compared to masterpieces such as All Mod Cons, Setting Sons and Start but there are some damn fine songs on here. The hit was Town Called Malice but for my mind Ghosts is a fave and the darkness of Carnation is to be savoured. The melodic shifts in The Gift provide a taste of things to come for Paul Weller's metamorphosis into The Cappuccino Kid and The Style Council.

One song...

'Town Called Malice' has to be one of the greatest singles of all time. I bought the 7" single way back in 1982 (still got it). The Jam never bettered this song.

Album for a generation

The Gift was in my humble opinion one of the finest Jam albums. The eclectic mix of influences represented the whole ethos of Mod. Exploring new sounds, new styles embracing soul music and moving forward. Much as I like All Mod Cons which encapsulated the mainstream Jam sound, the Gift was a blast of pure dance energy mixing soul with power pop to produce a truly Modernist album. Town Called Malice was one of the best political songs of the era - cut down on beer or the kids new gear it's a big decision in a Town Called Malice.
The Gift often gets knocked by traditional Jam fans. I count myself as an avid fan and have listened to the albums for over 30 years. The Gift is still such a powerful album bright, dark, pessimistic and optimistic. Classic power pop classic music and the most Modern album the Jam ever made


Formed: 1975 in Woking, Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The Jam were the most popular band to emerge from the initial wave of British punk rock in 1977; along with the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Buzzcocks, the Jam had the most impact on pop music. While they could barely get noticed in America, the trio became genuine superstars in Britain, with an impressive string of Top Ten singles in the late '70s and early '80s. The Jam could never have a hit in America because they were thoroughly and defiantly British. Under the direction of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter...
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