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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This album is a hidden gem, Very uncommercial.
At the time of release, sadly commercial sales for TSC dipped, hence why its a hidden gem.
This is sad, but maybe TSC's audience wanted 'Long Hot Summer' part 3, 4, 5 etc every year, but with maturity you can listen to this some 16 years after it was released in a different light.
The First part of the album is very experimental, beautiful vocals, orchestration, piano and charming gentle tunes as good as any of TSC's early work.
Standout tracks 'The story of someone's shoe' and Mick Talbot's 'The little boy in a castle' are a case in point.
The second part of the album has soul, even funk with the only two singles released off the album, the charming 'Life at the top peoples Health Farm' and 'How she through it all away' showing the humour and softer side of The Style Council.
Its a terrific album, enjoy it!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2003
After the pure pop of 'Our Favourite Shop' and the white soul of 'The Cost Of Loving', 'Confessions' marks The Style Council's return to eclecticism. Like 'Cafe Bleu', this is a journey through multiple sounds and styles. Criminally under-recognised at the time, it probably serves as a high water-mark in Weller's ambitiousness as a songwriter -- never again was he to attempt such a complex and varied work as this album. Like all complex works, it is initially challenging to listen to, but ultimately much more rewarding than many of his more 'immediate' works. Not that it's inaccessible -- the pop is still there, in wonderful tunes like 'How She Threw It All Away', 'Why I Went Missing', and 'Changing Of The Guard'. There's also the experimental, with the three-part classical piece 'The Gardener Of Eden' and the acapella 'Story Of Someone's Shoe'. But for me, the true highlights are the lyrics. Weller probably crams more craft and incisive wit into the lyrics of this album than into any of his previous or subsequent works. The title track is a nine-minute funk masterpiece that is the unofficial sequel to TSC's second single, 'Money go Round', and the preview single from this album 'Life At A Top People's Health Farm' is a cutting observation of the temptations to sell-out in late-80s Britain. Ultimately, its lack of commercial success forced Weller in a different direction. Thankfully though, we have this wonderful testament to how good The Style Council were -- a truly creative duo's final hurrah.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2003
In retrospect 'Confessions' can be seen as a watershed in Paul Weller's career, marking a shift from politically motivated pop to songs of a more personal nature. The brittle production that marred 1987's 'Cost of Loving' LP is thankfully missing, replaced with a more natural acoustic feel. While bands of the time, such as The Happy Mondays and New Order embraced the explosion in house music Weller and Co were taking a sojourn into classical. 'Confessions' was and remains Weller's most ambitious and complex album and in the main it worked.
Despite being grandiose, the opening side (the first five tracks for those listening on CD) features some of his best recordings.The piano drenched opener 'It's a Very Deep Sea' is one of these, as is the sweeping 'Changing of the Guard'. Lyrically it's also strong perhaps best highlighted on 'The Story of Someone's Shoe', which in no uncertain fashion details the emptiness of a one-night stand. The record's theme is one of reflection; many of the tracks are awash with tales of regret and missed opportunity.The fantastically poppy 'How She threw it All Away' and the equally melodic 'Why I Went Missing' are both in this mould so too is the Big-Band style 'Confession's 1, 2 and 3'.
However fans of Weller's more robust work should probably steer clear, only on the title track does he unleash some of his old fury. 'Cheap and nasty bullshit land' he spits on the tracks opening line, as the band launch into a nine-minute plus synth-funk tirade on 1980's culture.
As a collection of songs it's as complete as 'Our Favourite Shop', perhaps just lacking a little of that record's swagger. Only 'Life at a Top People's Health Farm' (which must rank as Weller's worst ever single) and the lacklustre 'If I Was a Dole Dads Toy Boy' disappoint. Mick Talbot whose previous offerings are at best described as 'mixed' even contributes two fine instrumentals while DC Lee's voice also sounds less abrasive. The singer putting in her best Council performance on the elaborate 'The Gardener of Eden', which somehow manages to open with a heavily orchestrated piece and close with a Beach Boys pastiche.
It's this track that evokes the diversity of the Style Council, who 18-months after the release of 'Confessions' were no more. A musical journey that had taken in jazz, soul, fink and pop brought to a close when their record company rejected the band's garage house direction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2011
I'd lost interest in the Style Council by the time this came out. More fool me. Brilliant songs of 'lust and loneliness'. Classy record, can't get enough of it all these years later.
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on 3 August 2014
I liked this at the time and it's more than stood the test of time. Much-derided when it was released, it has those Weller hallmark vocals, a bit more piano than usual and an overall funkier feel. Part of a master's back catalogue that is surprisingly overlooked.
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on 17 April 2012
despite not doing well when released, there is some really good songs on confessions and shows how weller had progressed as a songwriter, worth getting if your a weller fan
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on 11 April 2015
enjoyed the cd, will shop again !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2014
Cd as new,case slightly worn.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2011
Before criticizing this record let me state that I still believe in Paul Weller's musical abilities, having followed his releases in the past 25 years. This here is a pastiche of different musical styles ranging from classical influences ("Three piece suite") to jazzy tunes ("The story of someones shoe") and plain pop songs ("How she threw it all away"). All in all the underlying concept is similar to the Cafe bleu and Our favourite shop albums which also include varied shapes of musical styles. So where and why does it go so terribly wrong here? In my opinion Weller's understanding of "modern" music at that time is far from being innovative: "Iwasadoledads..." and the uninspired "Life at a top..." (starting with a toilet flushing) paint the picture of a band leader who frantically looks for the latest in sounds and has forgotten where he had started from. A song they had better never recorded is the title track which sounds like a mixture of "Money go round" and "Welcome to the pleasuredome" by FGTH! A pity is that even passable songs like "How she threw it all away" or the smart "Confessions 1,2 and 3" are ruined by the usage of drum computers and synthesizers. All in all a professionally but heartlessly produced album.
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