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4.5 out of 5 stars47
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 30 September 2012
Nearly 30 years between albums is pushing it a bit but this has been well worth the wait. Available on down load for a few days now hopefully this CD will sustain those of us who remember the Jam more than fondly. From the opening almost instrumental, bass led, "Ride" with a breathy repeated chorus the pace never flags, "Number 6" is a throwback to the Sound Affects era, although I'm not sure that the glockenspiel is strictly necessary - it's not as if it is there just to give Paul Weller a workout as he does some keyboards on here and I do believe he may be on the backing vocals as well. "Don't waste my time" has soul inflections which is no surprise with Steve Cropper guesting on this track. "Window shopping" is an old style rocker. "Glad I found my tears" is reminiscent of "Smithers-Jones" with a very catchy chorus and it runs into "The wide-open road" an instrumental with driving bass and more Jam era powerchords. "Find my way home" has backwards guitars, a basic song structure and a punky early Jam feel whilst "the Gaffa" escapes the Jam template a bit, echoing Ian Hunter's early solo stuff. "Drifting Dreams" as the name suggests is a strumalong quiter tune followed by a similar sounding "Coming on strong" which is as catchy as you like and again has Paul Weller on backing vocals. This is the highlight of the album for me. Next to last track "Reflection" has a "shalalala" sort of chorus, which is OK but the vocals seem a bit strained and this is my least favourite track on the album. The album closer "Senses of summer" is a jazzy, psychedelic number which borrows just a bit from "Norwegian wood".

Now I don't usually do a track by track breakdown on my album reviews but I have on this occasion because this is a very important album to me. I absolutely worshipped The Jam and have never really forgiven Paul Weller for breaking up the band. Knowing what I do now I realise it was inevitable and I suppose it was one of the few examples of a band giving up at the top of their game.

This album is as close as we will probably ever get to a "new" Jam album and for me it fits the bill admirably. Having criticised artists in the past for revisiting their past too much I could level the same accusation here to a certain extent but I am letting my heart rule my head this time. Given the 30 years between solo albums I am going to forgive Bruce Foxton for sticking to what he is good at - writing good songs and playing them well - with great assistance from his band it has to be said. Foxton was and is a much under-rated songwriter in my opinion, and whilst there may be a few technical imperfections here and there the Amazon star ratings state that you should issue 5 stars to an item if you love it - and I love this album. Welcome back Bruce.
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on 2 October 2012
Even though 30 long years have passed since Paul Weller dissolved The Jam, ask any fan and they'll still express confused disbelief (and yes, perhaps even a little bit of anger) at why one of the best bands this country has ever produced was ended so abruptly. Of course, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that Weller has sought to make good the huge vacuum left by breaking up The Jam - his large body of post-Jam work both as a solo artist and leading The Style Council surely marks him out as a hugely influential figure in British popular music.

So when the bassist of The Jam, Bruce Foxton, produces his first solo album for many decades, it's naturally going to raise considerable interest amongst those ageing Jam fans (those Fred Perry shirts are a little tighter across the chest than they used to be!) who continue to wonder what the band might have gone on to do had 'Beat Surrender' not been the last sound they ever heard from the Weller, Foxton and Buckler.

Well, this reviewer is very happy to report that Bruce Foxton (and his co-writer Russell Hastings) have delivered a great album which will bring a broad smile to any Jam fan. It's packed with brilliant melodic pop songs with Mod influences refreshingly to the fore.

I can't compete with the previous reviewer of this album who does a really admirable track-by-track commentary, so all I'll say is this: Bruce and his band (which includes contributions on a few tracks from one Paul Weller), have delivered an album that would sit proudly alongside anything The Jam produced. It's a vibrant, tuneful and soulful record that evokes (in a good way) a sound that most of us thought had probably passed away forever when The Jam split.

Good on you Bruce, good on you!
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on 13 January 2013
Really good new material however, this is not a Bruce Foxton solo effort, this is all "From the Jam" effort, and i suspect it is marketed as Bruce Foxton because Paul Weller contributed and plays on three of the songs and it was recorded at Weller's Black barn studios.
Paul Weller has in the past stated that he would never again play or reform with the Jam, so i would suggest it is for this reason it is issued as a Bruce Foxton solo effort.
A shame really, because Russell Hastings deserves a lot more recognition for his contribution to this collection of new tunes.
It suggests to me of the Jam, with a bit of Motown and northern soul feel to it with dare i say, some Style Council influence? and it is really catchy after a couple of listens.
I've seen "From the Jam" live a couple of times and am going again to see them in Warrington, Manchester and Liverpool soon, and can't wait to hear this new collection played live as well as all the old Jam songs again.
Catch them live, you won't be disappointed!
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on 7 October 2012
As other reviewers have noted, there is little to add to 'Big Jim's' track-by-track review, other than to confirm that this is definitely a worthwhile purchase for any fan of The Jam, or good rock music.

There is much to admire amongst the 12 tracks on offer. Bruce Foxton and co-writer/lead vocalist Russell Hastings should be very pleased with their first collaboration. And Paul Weller, having contributed to the single Number Six, can finally say he's helped to put out a record that is radio friendly, and not just for die-hard fans. Yes, this tune is that catchy and rewarding to listen to. Are you listening Radio 1 and Radio 2?

The Jam were THE band of the late seventies and early eighties, making some of the best music of the punk and new wave era. Bruce Foxton's contribution to the success of the band should never be underestimated. Whilst his first solo effort Touch Sensitive was a not without merit, Back in the Room will be widely and rightly be regarded as a return to form.

As the apparent feud between Rick Buckler and Paul Weller (and Bruce Foxton?) is unlikely to be resolved any time soon, this is the closest thing to the sound of The Jam that you are likely to hear in the foreseeable future. This album really does deserve your attention and should help those die-hard Weller skeptics overcome any concerns they may have about 'a Jam cover band' being able to produce good music. Back in the Room manages to call on a rich musical past to create songs that sound new and fresh. The results are well worth hearing. That said, it's not perfect, so just four stars from me, but a wholehearted recommendation for you to BUY NOW.

Take a bow Messrs. Foxton, Hastings and Brzezicki.

And yes the DVD A First Class Return is probably the best live collection of songs by The Jam available anywhere. get that too.
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on 3 October 2012
I won't go on about the tracks. They have been well reviewed already.

So a band called The Cassba Club featuring Bruce and the drummer on this album and Pete Townsend's brother, plays with a band called the Gift; a band featuring Rick Buckler, Russell Hastings and others. Bruce comes on stage to play some Jam songs with Rick and Russell. The crowd go wild. Soon after, they form 'From the Jam' and release a superb DVD called A First Class Return. If you don't have it, go buy it.

Bruce and Paul make friends again, and around that time, Rick leaves 'From The Jam'.

I hope I got the timeline right. I don't know if we would have had a Bruce Foxton album now if Rick was still in the band. Perhaps it would have been called something else. But would Paul have contributed to this album if it was by 'From the Jam'? I am not so sure about that.

So this will be the closest to a Jam reunion we will get unless Paul and Rick make up. Is it worth it. Yes yes yes. It's beter than some of that noise that the Style Coucil did and as good as some of Wellers solo stuff. Is it worth buying. Off course it is, what are you waiting for?
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on 12 October 2012
Thumping, thunderous bass line intro on 'Ride' announces the return to record of Bruce Foxton! Circa 'Sound Affects', the band produce a foot stamping opening track.

Number Six' the follow up single to 'Beat Surrender'. Classic Jam sound complete with Hammond organ and glockenspiel courtesy of Mr Weller himself. Hasting's vocals straight out of Weller's closet with Bruce's typical Jam style backing vocal.

'Don't waste my time' a sleazy Funk intro leads into a soulful middle of the road funk song complete with heavy brass, hammond and female backing singers.

'Window Shopping' is definitely the 'lost next jam album sound'. The rhythm section powers through this track whilst the guitar track powers chords and riffs along whilst sixties 'Revolver' backwards guitar interweaves through the track. Again classic Jam sounding track.

'Glad I found my tears' cica modern world ' i need you'. A nice mellow track, acoustic guitars blending in with dampened down drums and bass. An excellent ballad!

'The wide open road' does what it says on the tin! A great instrumental to drive to! Again another track from the 'lost next jam album'.

'Find my way home' The intro reminds me of 'problems' by the Sex Pistols' with a vocal arrangement sounding like the clash. A homage to the late 70's early 80's musical influences perhaps? A decent album track with a bit of guts and thunder!

'The Gaffa' honky tonk meets Dr Feelgood meets the Jam! A great rock n roll track!

'Drifting Dreams' slows the album again. Again a nice power balled with a rousing chorus.

'Coming on strong' a dizzy, swirling middle of the road song. Smatterings of Hammond organ and female backing vocals color the song nicely.

'Reflections' is a classic sounding Foxton track which is reminiscent of songs/style/sound from 'Touch Sensitive'.

'Senses of summer' signals the end of the album. A nice melodic way to sign off! A nice touch of the drums fading away into the distance!

Now, for my overall opinion. A good solid second album which easily surpasses 'Touch Sensitive'. Russell, Bruce and Mark can pat themselves on the back for producing this album! There is/was a lot of pressure on this album from Jam fans which to be fair isn't called for! Bruce has produced an album which, by rights, should stand up on it's own merits. Jam fans will like this album but its not just about jam fans! It sounds modern and there are songs on here that should grab Bruce some new fans!

Another personal point is that I wish the album went out with a real barn stormer, it kind of lost it's way towards the end and i was waiting for (and here is the Jam fan in me!) a real up and at them, in your face sign off! Maybe next time!?!?!

Buy the album, you wont be disappointed!
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on 10 October 2012
If you ever wondered, if The Jam had not split in 1982 what their music would be like today, well here it is! A great album from Bruce, Russell and Mark.
Listening to the tracks a number of times it evokes memories of yesterday, but sounds just as relevant today.
In my humble opinion, 'Window Shopping', 'Number Six', 'Don't Waste My Time' and 'Glad I Found My Tears' are outstanding. An excellent album that mixes yesterday and today. Buy it now! You won't be disappointed.
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on 2 November 2013
Great album, Hastings vocals are excellent and are well suited to this sound, which at times reminds me of Southside Johnny in his prime. Superb mixture of musicians contributing and it's nice to see Mr Weller jumping in to help out. Bruce Foxton's songwriting talents were obviously overshadowed by Weller in The Jam. But we know he can right great songs, just listen to 'Smithers-Jones', so this album is an excellent vehicle to showcase his talents.
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on 4 March 2013
Really good album with songs that take me back to the days of The Jam back in the late 70's/early 80's. The usual flawless bass playing by Bruce and the band seem really tight and bang on the money. Only thing that stopped it being a 5 star was a few of the songs sounding a bit like old Jam B sides. Don't let this put you off, most good albums have the odd track ot two you skip, but all the others are well worth a listen.
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on 24 October 2012
This may be "JAM" ish but dont forget Bruce was one third of the best band
at that time. Welcome back with a bang. Paul as a guest just adds to the feel.
Gavin Hastings proves he can hold his own and not be over shadowed. Number six just brill , glad i found my tears makes the hairs stand up on your kneck , senses of summer cool , well done Bruce . Magic
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