31 December 1959, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Westerberg had been planning a solo project even before his band, the Replacements, imploded in 1991, but his first work under his own name comprised two tracks on the soundtrack of the 1992 slacker movie Singles. This was followed by 14 Songs, perceived by some critics to be a return to the punked-up glory days of Bob Stinson-era Replacements, and including World Class Fad, a warning to the fast-living likes of Nirvanas Kurt Cobain. By 1996, however, Westerberg appeared to be ready to leave his punk days behind. Eventually was more overtly influenced by 60s pop and soul, and even offered tinges of folk rock, with acoustic guitars given more prominence than feedback-heavy riffing. The lyrics again provided rueful reflection on past excesses: Decided not to raise some mixed-up kid/Just like my mama and daddy did could almost have been a mantra for the redeemed hell raiser. The...
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