This Is the Modern World (Remastered Version)
Recorded just six months after the Jam’s debut, This is the Modern World is less a leap forward than a continuation of the sound and themes of In the City. If there is a difference between this album and the first it’s that Paul Weller’s frustration has grown. Modern World is less of a party, with fewer songs about youthful idealism and more songs about alienation from the status quo, including “Don’t Tell Them You’re Sane,” “In the Street Today,” “Standards,” and the title song. “The Combine” contains the album’s darkest but perhaps most truthful lines: “When you're in the crowd, you see things as they really are / You can smell the fear and hate, generated by all around / I wanna break away, but the ties are too strong.” Weller’s sour mood is tempered by a trio of wistful, acoustic-inflected love songs, “Here Comes the Weekend,” “I Need You (For Someone),” and the genuinely tender “Tonight At Noon.” This was the Jam’s last gasp as angry young men, and in many ways Weller’s farewell to the trials and tribulations of teenage life.