Paul Westerberg – 14 Songs

ARTIST: Paul Westerberg                          14_songs_paul_westerberg_album_-_cover_art

TITLE:  14 Songs



SINGLES: World Class Fad (#4 Alternative), Knockin’ on Mine, Runaway Wind

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Alt radio played a few more cuts, I think.

LINEUP: Paul Westerberg, Matt Wallace, Josh Freese, Ian McLagan, and other session cats.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Replacements front-man and songwriter makes a highly anticipated solo record and its…boring and safe. Bleah.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Replacements had calmed down a bit since the mid-80’s, but their last two albums did have some edge and upredictability. Paul Westerberg always had a soft side, but he was never boring.

Until this record.

A few tracks, “Knockin’ on Mine”, “World Class Fad”, “Down Love” have some energy and edge to them. But some of the up-tempo songs seem perfunctory, and the mid-tempo ballads don’t have any spark or fire. I don’t know if it’s the songs or the performances. It sounds professional – almost too professional for someone like Westerberg, whose best work straddles the edge of anarchy.

It’s decent enough, but this record seemed calculated to hit the Alternative radio charts in 1993, something that wouldn’t have been the case earlier. Westerberg may have mellowed out, and took his songwriting or performing edge with him, at least in his 1993 persona.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He had formed a jamming group with former Georgia Satellite bassist Rick Price and drummer Josh Kelly, but aside from one track he decided against forming a group with them.


GRADE: B-: A few songs trip my trigger and nothing is that horrible. Just polished and meh.

One thought on “Paul Westerberg – 14 Songs

  1. I like this a lot better than the The Replacements Don’t Tell A Soul, which also feels like a shot at the mainstream. I’d probably go B+ on it. It might be a timing thing though – I was a bit young for it at the time, so I didn’t hear it until the mid 2000s, and I knew to expect a mainstream sound.


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