ARTIST: Paul Westerberg
TITLE: 14 Songs
YEAR RELEASED: 1993
CHART ACTION: #44
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.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B-: A few songs trip my trigger and nothing is that horrible. Just polished and meh.