In the City (Remastered)
One of the most auspicious debuts in British rock history, the Jam’s In the City draws from three primary sources: the slashing anger of punk, the dancefloor energy of the ‘60s Mod scene, and the irrepressible frustration of Britain’s youth in the late ‘70s. As a self-appointed spokesman for the young masses, 21-year-old frontman Paul Weller speaks from the perspective of the all-encompassing “we.” And like his hero Pete Townshend before him, he tackles the issues that matter most to his age bracket. He assaults the decaying ideas of the older generation (“Time for Truth,” “Bricks and Mortar,” “Art School”) and tears into teenage romance and identity politics (“Away From the Numbers,” “Sounds from the Street,” “I Got By In Time”). The album’s centerpiece is “In the City,” an explosive expression of youthful optimism. Where their peers looked to the disaffected assaults of the Stooges, the Jam borrows the rollicking energy of Motown. Covers of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down” and Neal Hefti’s “Batman Theme” are obvious dancefloor nods, but even in its angriest moments In the City is more party than punk.