11 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sound Affects is the pinnacle of the Jam’s career, and the culmination of everything they had learned up to that point. For all the precocious brilliance of All Mod Cons and Setting Sons, those albums displayed a flawed ambition. Sound Affects is the first and only Jam album to expand the focus and articulation of the band’s best singles into an album-length statement. There isn’t a bad song here. The band’s myriad musical influences coalesce, and rather than taking a different direction in each song, every piece seems to share itself with the others. “Monday,” “That’s Entertainment,” and “Man In the Corner Shop” are wistful without ever becoming ballads, while “But I’m Different Now,” “Boy About Town,” and “Set the House Ablaze” are the apex of Paul Weller’s penchant for power pop. The sly Beatles adaption in “Start!” and the charging funk of “Pretty Green” are just two examples of the Jam’s musical maturity. No longer precocious chroniclers of wayward British youth, the trio entered adulthood with Sound Affects.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sound Affects is the pinnacle of the Jam’s career, and the culmination of everything they had learned up to that point. For all the precocious brilliance of All Mod Cons and Setting Sons, those albums displayed a flawed ambition. Sound Affects is the first and only Jam album to expand the focus and articulation of the band’s best singles into an album-length statement. There isn’t a bad song here. The band’s myriad musical influences coalesce, and rather than taking a different direction in each song, every piece seems to share itself with the others. “Monday,” “That’s Entertainment,” and “Man In the Corner Shop” are wistful without ever becoming ballads, while “But I’m Different Now,” “Boy About Town,” and “Set the House Ablaze” are the apex of Paul Weller’s penchant for power pop. The sly Beatles adaption in “Start!” and the charging funk of “Pretty Green” are just two examples of the Jam’s musical maturity. No longer precocious chroniclers of wayward British youth, the trio entered adulthood with Sound Affects.

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