|Confessions of a Pop Group|
|Produced by Paul Weller & Michael Talbot|
|Released on June 1988|
|UK CHART POSITION #15|
|Find it at GEMM|
|835 785-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
T he Style Council is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in expensive paper. It’s a complete reinvention of Paul Weller, as if the former Jam leader couldn’t run far enough from his own image. When he finally stopped running, he found himself surrounded by smooth soul arrangements, synthesizers, strings and simply decided to make a home of it. Actually, “simply” is the wrong word, since nothing about Confessions is simple. This record is split into two sides: Confessions of a Pop Group and The Piano Paintings. They’re equally literate, though the latter is more languid. Regarded by many as one the Council’s least interesting records, I’m not sure at all myself. Having heard the live Home & Abroad, I’m familiar with their “hits” and they’re just as perplexing. Paul Weller has a good voice, perhaps not up to the task of troubadour on ballads like “It’s A Very Deep Sea” but good enough to justify the conceit. He is a wordy feller, though, and without a lyric sheet you know you’re missing some clever lines on “Life At A Top Peoples Health Farm” and “Iwasadoledadstoyboy.” The second side favors sophisticated ballads, well executed but a little dull (think of how you felt when “Rook” or “Chalkhills And Children” rolled around on an XTC album). The trouble with dismissing Confessions as a limp and literate indulgence is that its instincts are right on, only it’s all coming from the wrong person. Paul Weller’s peculiar talents are obscured by the standoffish setting, Talbot’s arranging skills peddled to the wrong audience (were the same people going to listen to “Life At A Top Peoples Health Farm” and “The Gardener of Eden?”). The infectious “How She Threw It All Away,” handily the best thing about this record, reveals just how much is lost when The Style Council strays from their strengths. Perhaps it’s best to say that Confessions of a Pop Group is a near-perfect album with one major flaw: it presumes we care about The Style Council’s ever-changing moods.
|835 785-1 back cover||835 785-1 picture sleeve|
MICHAEL TALBOT --
PAUL WELLER --
Jezar -- engineer, mixing
Lawrence Watson -- photography
SJH/TSC -- sleeve design
return to THE STYLE COUNCIL discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||June 1988||Polydor||LP/CD/CS||835 785||picture sleeve|
|August 14, 2000||Universal||CD||557916||digital remaster|
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