The Gift (Remastered)

The Gift (Remastered)

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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