11 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the apotheosis of Sound Affects, The Gift exhibits early signs of dissolution within the Jam. Yet even as the trio’s all-for-one ethos was cracking they put forth the most diverse set of material of their career. The cascading rhythms and effects-laden guitars of “Happy Together,” “Precious,” and “Circus” push the Jam closer to the work of contemporaries like U2 and the Police. On the other hand, songs like “Ghosts,” “Trans-Global Express,” and “The Gift” indulge Paul Weller’s passion for R&B-inflected power pop. The Jam’s shift away from concise, kinetic rock would soon spur the departure of Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, while Weller would continue to develop his R&B technique in the Style Council. The Jam’s parting shot ended up being “Town Called Malice,” a song whose portrait of a decaying community is belied by an uptempo, if wistful, Motown shuffle. Still it is a stanza from “Ghosts” that stands as the best epitaph for a group who knew how to combine excitement and melancholy: “So why are you frightened - can't you see that it's you / At the moment there's nothing - so there's nothing to lose / Lift up your lonely heart and walk right on through.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the apotheosis of Sound Affects, The Gift exhibits early signs of dissolution within the Jam. Yet even as the trio’s all-for-one ethos was cracking they put forth the most diverse set of material of their career. The cascading rhythms and effects-laden guitars of “Happy Together,” “Precious,” and “Circus” push the Jam closer to the work of contemporaries like U2 and the Police. On the other hand, songs like “Ghosts,” “Trans-Global Express,” and “The Gift” indulge Paul Weller’s passion for R&B-inflected power pop. The Jam’s shift away from concise, kinetic rock would soon spur the departure of Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, while Weller would continue to develop his R&B technique in the Style Council. The Jam’s parting shot ended up being “Town Called Malice,” a song whose portrait of a decaying community is belied by an uptempo, if wistful, Motown shuffle. Still it is a stanza from “Ghosts” that stands as the best epitaph for a group who knew how to combine excitement and melancholy: “So why are you frightened - can't you see that it's you / At the moment there's nothing - so there's nothing to lose / Lift up your lonely heart and walk right on through.”

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