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4.5 out of 5 stars
47
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 December 2012
A superb album which still sounds good today. But, be carefull there are several formats to choose from. The deluxe edition may seem to most to be a more realistic purchase than the Super deluxe version. However, I dont understand why Amazon have got the track listing COMPLETELY wrong. There are far fewer tracks on both the actual discs than was advertised. From the advertised listings, It seems that Discs 1 and 2 of the deluxe version are the same as the first two discs of the Super deluxe version when in reality there are far less tracks Incidentally, no one seems to have picked up that the versions of "Stoned out of my mind" and "War" are not those from the Beat Surrender doublepack single.
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on 12 October 2000
Don't get me wrong most Jam fans regard 'The Gift' as a decent album, after all it does contain two of their best ever songs in 'Carnation' and 'A Town Called Malice'. Sadly though this album simply doesn't compare to it's three quality predecessors being a disjointed affair that contains a number of weak tracks. Songs like 'The town planners dream went wrong' and 'Transglobal express' along with Bruce Foxtons dreadful instrumental confirm that the magic was draining from the band and that Wellers decision to call it a day and go out at the top was a good one.
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on 13 January 2007
The last album before a bands breakup has a tendency to show the cracks.

(The exception that proves the rule is The Police - Synchronicity)

Here there are classic Jam tracks -Town Called Malice, Precious, Ghosts Carnation etc.

These give away the change in influence, but this was the Jam - There is year and a half between In The City and All Mod Cons - but they are worlds apart sound wise.

In all this is a very good album - eliminate the planners dream went wrong and it actually works as an LP. But there it just doesn't sound quite polished enough.

Great for the Weller enthusiast - if you are looking for a taster of the Jam sound try All Mod Cons first.
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on 4 September 2010
This has been a brilliant album since it was released. My brother had it on vinyl, so I eventually had to get round to replacing it!
Despite (or maybe because of) Weller's need for a change of direction musically, ultimately resulting in the splitting up of the Jam and formation of the Style Council, the horns, funkiness and experimentation with different styles works. Still acerbic wry lyrics (look no further that "Just who is the 5 o'clock hero)this is an often overlooked album from one of the best British bands of all time. Check it out, you won't be disappointed
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on 28 July 2005
Wellers evolution towards the style council sound is in evidence here as the album is more poppy/soulful than previous Jam albums with greater use of the brass section.
Its a great album, better than In the City and Modern World but not as good as setting sons. Definitely a must have album. IMO there is only 1 suspect track - the experimental Trans Global express which is noisy with barely audible lyrics. The Gift and Circus are mediocre tracks. The rest are classics so buy it.
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on 23 March 2013
The album was ok, but not as good as people said. I prefer Sound Affects and All Mod Cons. Glad there was a De Luxe alum, as someitmes demo are better than the ones released.
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on 8 April 2013
Bought for my son, a massive fan of The Jam and Paul Weller, he was very pleased with it as although he has lots of their recordings this has some tracks he hadn't got .
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on 20 June 2011
This is a very patchy album and shows Paul Weller's ambitions outgrowing The Jam. The only songs I'd really choose to listen to now are A Town Called Malice (overexposed but wonderful), Precious, Running on the Spot (maybe) and the massively underrated opener Happy Together. Another reviewer singled this last song out and I remember being blown away by it when I bought the LP on the day of release. Ghosts is a bit dull and Carnation is leaden - can't understand why so many reviewers like it. Transglobal Express is pretty embarrassing musically and lyrically, as is Planners Dream. Including The Great Depression (the B side of the 5 O'clock Hero import) would have improved the album.
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on 22 April 2005
The Gift was to be the last studio album that The Jam made.
A 23 year old Paul Weller was becoming increasingly disollusioned with the music industry.He quit drinking, & whilst on tour to promote "The Gift" had taken to "Sloping off alone for a cup of tea" after the shows.Fellow band members Foxton & Butler also socialised seperately, the cracks had begun to appear & this would result in their split just a year later.
Given all this it`s hardly surprising that "The Gift" has a bit of a disorganised feel to it.
There are 11 tracks in all, 4 of which are poor by The Jam`s standards (Trans global,5 o clock hero,Planners dream & The Gift)are the guilty parties!!
The album starts explosively with the sublime & optimistic "Happy Together" then onto "Ghosts" another of Wellers beautiful & thoughtful ballads.The funky "Precious" works well, & "Running On The Spot" is a driving raw tune."Carnation" is quite simply a classic in the mould of Fly or English Rose & "Town Called Malice" is the big hit that everyone will recognise.
The good songs outweigh the bad on The Gift,& some cannot be found on any "Greatest Hits" compilations so it`s definately worth adding to your collection,plus, a quick listen to the weaker tunes will make you realise why Weller called time on the band soon after..........
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on 16 December 2008
And so begins the inevitable decline.

'The Gift' is in no way a bad album but compared to some of its rich and colourful ancestors, it was becoming clear Weller was in need of a fresh challenge.

To his credit he broke The Jam just in time - while they were in pole position. It was the right thing to do - just as going on a horrific farewell tour was the wrong thing.
Ill-advised and slowly but steadily becoming wretched, Weller slipped away with the drawn out horror of 5 nights at the Hammersmith Odeon plaguing the dreamy nights of loyal Jam fans, and a bombing combination of dodgy politics, the appalling Style Council and even dodgier solo career - where he started playing Jam songs again - confirming how uninspired and desperate it'd all become.
Weller and desperate in the same sentence: just doesn't sound right does it?

'The Gift' has good stuff on it: 'Ghosts' is fine; Weller was obviously listening to Ian Hunter's 'Letter to Britannia From the Union Jack' while he wrote it; and 'Carnation' pulls the right strings but it all sounds a bit strained. Sort of a collision of the last 4 year's styles and influences bundled together in a sack and bunged half-formed at the expectant listener. There's no way Weller would have let 'the Gift' happen two years before; but like a dying man giving all his possessions away, he knew the end was fast coming.

As the dissolute pop-chart mongrels asked more and more of Weller and co, the hungry and fastidious Jam legions began to look elsewhere.
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