Top positive review
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A Warm, Comforting Beacon on the 1980s Musical Seascape
on 6 January 2000
This music will not age. I haven't converted a lot of my old vinyl to CDs because I've been too busy buying CDs of artists newly discovered. But the Style Council is special. I own albums and CDs of all of their music because: 1) Their music withstands frequent listenings 2) When friends that know the Style Council see SC CDs in my collection, they go crazy and want me to play them. 3) When friends that don't know the Style Council hear the music for the first time, they go crazy and want to know who's the band, where can they find these gems, etc. 4) Paul Weller is an amazing artist, a master of genres who understands melody, content, and style.
Critical musings here don't do the Style Council justice. REM slammed Weller's Style Council phase in an interview, proving REM is both a second-rate band with an inferiority complex as well as a poor judge of music. This first Style Council work is a great starting place for the band. It's as smooth as good cognac--I equate this music with adventure, physical indulgence in the opposite sex, cool dance clubs, intellectual exploration, and pleasure-induced numbness. It truly is music for hedonists. One never tires of songs such as "Paris Match" (version here is the best) or "Long Hot Summer." They're my favorite band of the 80s--folks never got over the Jam breaking up and would use Weller's future projects against that band's measuring stick. But they're on different playing fields. Critics, it's okay to love non-Jam Weller tunes.
Final urging to those unfamiliar with this band: As I glance over my extensive music collection looking for great bands of the 80s, I constantly find myself passing on my Husker Du, Minutemen, Smiths, Joy Division, Robyn Hitchcock, and Billy Bragg in favor of the Style Council. I love those bands. But the comfort level I attain when I listen to SC is really quite astonishing--I cannot seem to wear this band out after 17 glorious years of listening to them.