CMJ - 1/5/04, p.8Ranked #18
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1981"
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1145 stars out of 5
-- "[A] stripped-down classic that mixed witty Kinksy songsmithery with atonal, post-punk psychedelic experimentation."
NME (Magazine) - 10/2/93, p.29Ranked #79
in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
NME (Magazine) - 9/25/93, p.19Ranked #7
in NME's list of the '50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s' - "...[SOUND AFFECTS] contains three of [Paul Weller's] greatest songs--'That's Entertainment,' 'Start' and 'Man In The Corner.' A bold, brilliant album..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.894 stars out of 5
-- "SOUND AFFECTS saw them rise to the challenge with boldness and inspiration..."
Uncut (magazine) - p.994 stars out of 5
-- "There are lots of jangly guitars, harmonies and mid-'60s brass....A Jam album strongly influenced by the music of 1966."
The Jam: Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, Rick Buckler.
Audio Remasterer: Tibor Pecsi.
Liner Note Author: John Harris .
Photographers: Andrew Douglas; Martyn Goddard; Pennie Smith; Andrew Rosen.
While other first-generation British punk bands embraced art and nihilism, the Jam offered working-class soul--solid, honest rhythms that were a ray of hope to the country's recession-racked youth. SOUND AFFECTS was released at the height of the Jam's popularity, and found frontman Paul Weller at his songwriting peak. Equally as influenced by Motown as by punk, Weller's songs defy categorization. While "Start!" (a No. 1 hit in England) is as upbeat as the best James Brown, the driving instrumentation of "Set The House Ablaze," "Monday" and "Boy About Town" bears comparison to the the early Who. There are even ska echoes on "Music For The Last Couple."
But the most enduring quality of these songs is their humanism. Even through Weller's early flirtation with Toryism, his deep concern for Britain's dispossessed was evident. "That's Entertainment" and "Man In The Corner Shop" speak of an England that everyone, from scooter-gangs to businessmen, can relate to. It was this everyman appeal, this boy-next-door earnestness, that a generation of British youth rallied around.