Sound Affects Review

artist: The Jam date: 02/11/2008 category: compact discs
The Jam: Sound Affects
Release Date: Nov 28, 1980
Label: Polydor
Genres: British Punk, New Wave, Mod Revival
Number Of Tracks: 11
From beginning to end, the songs are pure, clever, infectious pop.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 6.8 
 Votes:
 6 
 Views:
 102 
reviews (2) 3 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Sound Affects Reviewed by: Crash91, on june 01, 2006
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Sound: 'Sound Affects' was The Jam's fifth album, and it was by far the most adventurous, challenging album. They had grown from the new wave sons of the home counties to just about the biggest pop group in the country. After getting their first no. 1, 'Going Underground', The Jam responded by recording an album which shunned the polished production of their previous album 'Setting Sons', for a more contemporary, atonal sound which reflected the gritty, sparse feel of post-punk. However, there were three songs on the album that harked back to old school Jam. They were the opening track 'Pretty Green', 'But I'm Different Now' and 'Boy About Town'. 'Pretty Green', the opening track, began with a thundering one-note bass-line, a perfect start to the album. The abrasive 'But I'm Different Now' was built upon the guitar riff reminiscent of another Revolver song, Dr. Robert. Less angular was the jolly 'Boy About Town', this vibrant Mod anthem was backed by a horn section. Much of the album was created in situ, which led to its broader range of musical moods and colourings. The result of these experiments could be heard on the intense 'Set The House Ablaze', 'Music For The Last Couple' and 'Scrape Away'. Meanwhile, the acoustic song 'That's Entertainment', used more direct language to create what is still Paul Weller's most vivid snapshot of English life. And finally, the only no.1 in the album, 'Start!' contained a smooth bass-line. The album reached no.2 in the album charts, it could've got no.1 if it wasn't for Abba's album. It also sold over 100, 000 copies. // 9

Lyrics: Just as soon The Jam became a pop group, Paul Weller has improved magnificently. His songwriting has improved, also his singing skills have improved over the years. He couldn't get any better than this. // 10

Overall Impression: Despite the album was successful, I don't think it was their best album. Okay, it was their best in the '80s. If you include all of their albums they have done, 'Sound Affects' was probably their 2nd best album. I prefer 'All Mod Cons' even though The Jam were still a punk group at that time. The most impressive songs on the album are 'Pretty Green', 'Start!' and 'That's Entertainment'. What I love about this album was that it showed The Jam have improved over the years, transforming into a pop group was a success. I don't hate anything about this album. If it somehow got stolen or lost (I doubt that will happen), I would certainly get it again. To end this review, 'Sound Affects' is a sensational album. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Sound Affects Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 11, 2008
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Sound: This album sees the Jam resort to a harsher and more basic sound than their previous albums with Bruce Foxton's bass and Rick Buckler's drums taking centre stage leaving Paul Weller free to contribute spaced out chords. Overall all three musicians meld together and all the songs have a harsh and almost psychedelic effect caused by this and Weller's sometimes eerie vocal. This is no accident as Weller wanted to escpae the poliished sound or previous albums and had been listening to the work of Syd Barrett and the Beatles Revolver album while writing Sound Affects. They even pay tribute to Revolver on the song Start where they borrow the Taxman bassline. // 9

Lyrics: Like most Jam albums Sound Affects contains elements of British working class life. From Preety Green which claims that in modern Britain power is measured by the "pound or the fist" to the brilliant "scrape away" which tells the story of how people are willing to merely "scrape away through life without making any contribution this album is an expression of modern life and expresses the anger assocciated with such a life. The centrepiece of this attitude is of course "that's entertainment" which is simply a series of images of modern life backed only by a simple piece of acoustic guitar. However Weller also tells tales of love "Monday" and "But I'm different now" and lost ambition "Set the House a Blaze". This is simply a clasic collection of songs whether discussing the spanish civil war, "start" or wandering the streets of London, "Boy about Town". // 9

Overall Impression: This is easily one of my favourite albums and I heartily reccomend it, although if you're new to The Jam you should probably start with All Mod Cons their third album. Rarely can you find such a group of songs that fit together so perfectly while still each strikingly different. Fans of Joy Division will approve of the stripped down sound while anyone who has ever thought there is something wrong with life will find comfort here. // 10

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