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Back In The Room
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on 18 June 2018
This was Bruce Foxton’s first solo work since 1984 and it is not a bad effort, but it is, unsurprisingly very Jam-influenced. However, the material is certainly better in quality than the often patchy stuff Foxton wrote for The Jam.

Beginning with a Jam-style bass dominated instrumental in “Ride”, “Number Six” is pure “Smithers-Jones” Jam fare. “Don’t Waste My Time” is actually a soulful attempt to diversify slightly in sound but there is something in the use of the brass section and the melodious, easily singable sound that just makes one recall The Jam, particularly the 1981-82 phase. Foxton now uses another vocalist on some of the songs, one Russell Hastings, who sounds incredibly like Paul Weller.

Poor old Bruce often seems to be re-writing “Carnaby Street” several times over, utilising the same couplet style lyrics and often virtually the same tune. “Window Shopping” is a classic example. It is, as with many of these later efforts, better than the original 1977 track. Some excellent guitar and organ have insured that. “Glad I Found My Tears” is so influenced by old band mate Weller’s Style Council/early solo material. The verses are very redolent of Weller’s Style Council track, “The Ghost Of Dachau”. Hastings even enunciates “thunder” as “funder” just as Weller did on The Jam’s “Monday”.

“The Wide Open Road” is an instrumental that sounds like The Jam limbering up in the studio before adding lyrics. Foxton also seems to be unable to shake off the Weller influence in that he has modelled much of the album on Weller’s early Traffic/Humble Pie/ Revolver-era Beatles material. Nowhere is this better exemplified than on the frantic, guitar-driven “Find My Way Home”. “The Gaffa” continues in the same, but in more of a blues rock style, almost like Dr. Feelgood in places. Weller has recorded material like this on “Wake Up The Nation”, only two years earlier.

Coincidence? I think not. “Drifting Dreams” sounds almost exactly like Weller it is untrue. If you played this to a person who knew The Jam and Paul Weller’s music, but were not 100% fans, they would think it is indeed him. “Senses Of Summer” is a bucolic, whimsical number of which Weller himself would be proud.

The Jam/Style Council/Paul Weller influences are so obvious on this album and would continue on to the next album four years later. Try as Bruce Foxton may, he simply can’t shake off his old mate.
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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 9 October 2012
As someone else said, 'read Big Jim's review' - that's all you really need to know. I've nothing else to add to the strength of the album and the songs. The only thing that knocks off a star for me is the engineering or production (I'm no expert so I don't know what one it is). I really think it could have done with a stronger mix on some songs. For example, the vocals in 'Number Six' is struggling along in the mid-background and really should be closer to the front of the song. I only heard them (From The Jam - you should see them if you can) playing it live 10 days ago and it was an absolutely foot-stomping, sing-a-long live track that is very good on record but not a patch on the live version I heard. This song could have been cranked up a bit and could easily have been a long lost Weller Classic from 1980.

Still, who am I to complain - this is the best listen-to in a long time.
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on 23 August 2016
really nice album. almost as good as anything weller has done- but to say that is heresy as its clear hastings is very much a weller tribute in a way . hastings very underrated and a good musician however he does have an obvious link with weller in style . shame no rick but awesome stuff. not quite as great as the follow up smash the clock but still an amazing debut. tour both albums as foxton and hastings or the gift! "glad i found my tears " is like a classic beatles song...legends like steve cropper as guests prove this projects worth.
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on 13 February 2018
Bruce was the bass guitarist from the best band in the world - THE JAM - good album and with a little help from his old band mate PAUL WELLER.
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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 2 May 2016
This album is simply amazing. The perfect legacy for an ex Jam member and the best thing for all mod followers old and new to get excited about. This, although new, brings back memories of good times past but also exciting times to come. Well done Bruce and all involved in making a future classic. I for one, have every track on my playlist. Genius!!!
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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 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 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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