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4.4 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 7, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As frontman/songwriter for the late, great indie rockers the Replacements, Paul Westerberg was anointed the voice of a generation. And while that might look nice on the résumé, it can have its drawbacks; over the course of three solo CDs, Westerberg has struggled to regain the acclaim he once enjoyed. But the fortysomething rocker comes awfully close on his first CD in almost four years. Actually make that two CDs--Stereo consists of two separate projects and as a result showcases distinct aspects of Westerberg's songwriting skills. The raucous Mono is all spit and fire, and featuring a haphazard sound, finds Westerberg, a.k.a. Grandpaboy, and band tearing through an efficient and often exhilarating set of postpunk rave-ups. The best of the lot is the endearing "Let's Not Belong," which, with its tale of mismatched--and hence perfect--love, is laced with Westerberg's trademark tongue-in-cheek, heart-on-sleeve appeal. Stereo, his "solo" CD, is somewhat less rowdy but no less emotionally emphatic. His voice is often raw and sometimes backed only by a plugged-in guitar, but Stereo features insistent love songs (the aching "Don't Want Never") that sneak up on you and, like the best of Westerberg's work, linger. --Amy Linden

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Baby Learns To Crawl
  2. Dirt To Mud
  3. Only Lie Worth Telling
  4. Got You Down
  5. No Place For You
  6. Boring Enormous
  7. Nothing To No One
  8. We May Be The Ones
  9. Don't Want Never
  10. Mr. Rabbit
  11. Let The Bad Times Roll
  12. Call That Gone?

Disc: 2

  1. High Time
  2. Anything But That
  3. Let's Not Belong Together
  4. Silent Film Star
  5. Knock It Right Out
  6. 2 Days Til Tomorrow
  7. Eyes Like Sparks
  8. Footsteps
  9. Kickin The Stall
  10. Between Love & Like
  11. AAA

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vagrant
  • ASIN: B000063UL8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,811 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Buy this...Westerberg fans, Replacements fans...or just fans of great originial rock and roll. Westerberg's double CD is the best offering Paul Westerberg has given in over a decade. Mono, the Grandpa Boy offering (Free with Stereo) is just a rock and roll album, plain and simple, stripped down and played with passion. Best songs on mono...Silent Film Star, Knock it Right Out, Eyes Like Sparks, and AAA. (There really is not a bad song on this disc.) On stereo, you Paul and his guitar mostly...bearing his soul again, great words and melodies. Again some of his best work. Best tunes on Stereo, Only Lie Worth Telling, No Place For You, We May Be The Ones, Call That Gone, (and a great cover of Flesh for Lulu's Postcards from Paradise hidden afetr the last song). Recently saw Paul perform many of these live on his free promo tour in Philly. These songs are even better live. He looked healthy and sounded great. I have been a fan for over 17 years. I have very high expectations of his work. I waited patiently for three years for these discs, and they beat all expectations. Some people seem to have a problem with he sound quality, or the fact that the tapes cuts a couple of songs short on Stereo...get over it, that is the point of what he has done here...BUT IT, YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF, LATER.
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Format: Audio CD
It's been a long time since we've heard any new material from Paul Westerberg. And to be honest with you, I feel badly for him. Despite what has been a solid solo career, Paul will always have to endure comments about his former band, The Replacements, and why his new material doesn't sound like his old stuff. Personally, I've liked every one of Paul's solo albums, and while they're not Replacements albums full of anti-establishment, drunken swagger, they've been wonderfully passionate and personal explorations into many things. So now that you know how I feel about Westerberg, here's what I think of the new stuff.
"Stereo" is the more quiet disc of the two. It's also much deeper and much more soulful than "Mono." What I've always admired about Paul is when he opens his chest to the world and reveals things about himself that I know I could never tell a soul. In songs like "Dirt to Mud" and "Nothing To No One," there is such sadness in his voice and lyrics. The beautiful notes of his guitar in the latter song echo the pings in his heart. But this disc isn't all sad. "Call that Gone" is a great little number to close the album and the humorous "Mr Rabbit" is, I'm sure, some kind of homage to his baby boy's stuffed toy.
"Mono," though sort of disparaged by critics as the weaker album, is, in a way, my favorite of the two. This seems to be where Paul says "let it rip" and just blasts through scorcher after scorcher. I love "Anything But That" and "Kickin' the Stall." The guitar is so dirty, chunky, and sloppy that it recalls some of his days on the earlier albums of The Replacements. "Silent Film Star" is a tongue-in-cheek way of telling a person to shut up and this twisting of connotations is something that Westerberg has always been good at.
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Format: Audio CD
As the new father of a baby daughter (10 months now), I am particular of the music I play for her. I do classical in the morning, rock at mid-day and jazz in the evening. In returning to much of my rock roots, I brought out Replacements' classics like "Let it Be" and "Tim". So when I heard that Westerberg had finally produced something worth his musical legacy and it had a few tunes dealing with aging and child-rearing, I knew I had to get it immeditately.
On the first listen I felt like I was 16 again listening to the Replacements for the first time. Not that it is that good, but it captures the magic that made us love the band and the man in the first place. It is sloppy, it is groundless, and it is totally beautiful (particularly Stereo). For fans of tunes like "Here Comes A Regular," "Stereo" is that long wished for album, but rather than lamenting those lost drunks we all almost were, it casts a sometimes loving and sometimes cold eye on the life of relationships, family and children, as well as self-doubt and general dissatisfaction.
"Mono" is like a half-sober Replacements show. It harkens back to the Mats punk bar blues and is as rewarding as that proposition sounds.
For older Mats fans this is indespinsable. Get it and remember what it was like when rock was worth more than its weight in gold.
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Format: Audio CD
RULE ONE: The Replacements, like the Beatles, are Dead, Gone, Fini, Kaput, No More... they are an Ex-Parrot. Enjoy what that band left and what they ment spearately from poor Paul Westerberg. Let the man move on and be an adult (sort of).
So, after two long years, we finally get a new disc, a two for one deal even, the best since Wilco's Being There. Rumour has it Tommy Stinson (ex of "That Band") plays and is pretty clearly heard on harmonies [if you had bought Bash & Pop or Perfect (both out of print) maybe Tommy wouldn't be working with... EWWW Axl Rose.]
Stereo, the main disc is a continuation of Paul's maturation as a songwriter. The songs are spare [there are drums on only half the tracks] and if you skipped Suicane, you're probably going to skip this, too. That's your loss. Westerberg continues to write songs as touching and real as "Unsatisfied","Skyway","Achin' to Be","Darlin' One" and "Sadly Beautiful".
For example, "Only Lie Worth Telling" wouldn't have sounded out of place on the last couple 'Mats albums. "No Place for You" sounds like something Tom Petty left off his last, except Westerberg doesn't have that snear in his voice that Petty does. That's fair since Petty stole the line "Rebel Without a Clue". [I think Train would do a pretty good take of it,too] "Boring Enormous" is a phrase only Westerberg COULD turn into a song. "We May Be the Ones", with its repeated "I want to know" could be a tribute to the Gen Xer's who used to "trash that baby boom". "Mr Rabbit" is a playful little ditty with the repeated "Every little soul must shine" sort-of chorus. Hang on after "Call That Gone" for a rocking uncredited piece that sounds an awful lot like that other band...
Mono is the more rocking, electric disc.
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