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14 Songs

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 15-JUN-1993

Amazon.com

Paul Westerberg's first official solo album, 14 Songs, is a curious disappointment. Expectations were perhaps unreasonably high after 1990's brilliant All Shook Down (credited to the Replacements but a Westerberg solo album in all but name) and the soundtrack for Singles (supposedly a showcase for the Seattle sound but stolen by two songs from Minneapolis's Westerberg). 14 Songs is not so much a bad album as an underwhelming one from the best singer/songwriter to emerge from the post-punk underground. There are enough flashes of the old talent to indicate that Westerberg is simply confused rather than burnt-out. Pianist Ian McLagen helps a sax-blowing Westerberg through an inspired Stones imitation, "Silver Naked Ladies," and guest singer Joan Jett helps him through a smart Clash imitation, "Someone I Once Knew." The first single, "World Class Fad," boasts a great rock & roll hook to go with its sneering putdown of sell-out musicians, but the best song is "Something Is Me," which manages to be both a full-tilt punk charge and a telling confessional: "Something going wrong; my name is Paul. Something always happens eventually; the something is me." --Geoffrey Himes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: June 15, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002MJO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,914 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Casarino on May 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
With "14 Songs," Paul Westerberg released exactly the kind of album you expect when the leader of one of the most influential bands in history breaks off to tell his own stories. The quality of such records rarely matches the ambitions behind them, but "14 Songs" is one amazing album.
Like all the best punks, Paul is a smart, smart man, with an affection for wordplay and 9th chords. He puts that intelligence to great use right away with "Knockin' on Mine," a rocker about reading(!). And then Paul lets his romantic side shine, with the heartbreaking "First Glimmer," "Runaway Wind," and my fave, "Even Here We Are." Paul moves effortlessly through hard-driving post-punk ("Something is Me," "Down Love"), confessional pop ("Dice Behind Your Shades," "Things"), humorous commentaries ("Someone I Once Knew," "Mannequin Shop"), and mid-tempo rockers.
Well, so did the 'Mats, you say. And you're right - but this album is packed with idiosyncrasies that are pure Paul. It's great to hear albums that seem to flow from one's soul, and "14 Songs" is one of those albums. Some of the critiques complain that too many of the 14 songs are filler, but I hear no filler here - every tune is vital, robust, and brimming with the joy of a great artist finding a new path to rock and roll.
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Format: Audio CD
"14 Songs", an apt title for someone constantly stating the obvious in often revelatory ways, has been part of my life for over a decade. I remember the day I bought it...summer before freshman year in high school and miniture golf would never cut it again. All those hormones and songs such as "First Glimmer" and "Runaway Wind", quite a heady mix. I latched onto the cynicism of "World Class Fad", "Dice Behind Your Shades" and, really, the whole album. "Things" though, remains the melancholic lament that rings true over and over whenever i'm love sick. It's the parts more than the whole, whatever that means, that make this the bluest and truest album I own.
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By A Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
OK, here's the deal on this CD...
-- The Replacements were lovingly known as "The Mats" in Minneapolis, MN, from which they hailed
-- A couple of years ago I read in some magazine that "Let It Be" by The Mats was one of the Top Ten most favorite albums as rated by college students
-- This album is NOT like "Let It Be"
And to anybody who's familiar with the history of The Mats but doesn't like this album...well, have another adult beverage.
14 Songs is Paul Westerberg throwing off the mask. Admitting, yes, that the last Replacements album ("All Shook Down") was his alone, practically...and that the punk/grunge expectation tied to that band's name was starting to bum him out, big time.
So he goes solo. "Ego trip," the thrash-faithful scream. Have another adult beverage, I say to them.
"An English teacher from Vancouver asked me to write something for her students." So starts the album ("Knocking on Mine") as Westerberg lets us in on his problem: So-called intellectuals are now proclaiming him the James Joyce of the '90s! His reaction to that (unwanted) praise is at first reactionary ("Wisdom is ignorance"), then measured ("First Glimmer" and "Runaway Wind" are beautiful, looking-back-in-fondness songs). In between, "World Class Fad" and "Something is Me" remind the faithful that you can never fully escape the stuff that goes with being born into The Mats family.
But most of all, Westerberg finally gives us a glimmer...musically and lyrically...that he's done with the broken hands, falling off of stages, .36 blood alcohol content performances that The Mats were (in)famous for.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Released in the summer of 1993, 14 Songs was Paul Westerberg's first solo album after The Replacements disbanded. Around that time he recorded two songs that ended up on the soundtrack for the Cameron Crowe film, Singles. 14 Songs, just like Westerberg's other solo efforts, has not been treated well by critics or mainstream listeners but that's fine though, he proves that you don't need lots of critical accalim and radio airplay to find an audience. It's strange though because I always thought that most of Paul's work with The Replacements and as a solo artist are very radio friendly and I never understood why things didn't work out that way for him.

I have to say though, 14 Songs is a real gem from start to finish in my opinion. It may take a few listens to really get into it but I wore this album out once I came to love it. Not a single bad track here. One of the things I love most about this record is that it's mostly a fun one, very energetic and catchy. Songs like "A Few Mintues Of Silence", "Dice Behind Your Shades", and "Mannequin Shop" are great to dance to and sing along with. Also, "Down Love" is a fun punk song that is better then most punk rock songs I have ever herd. There are a couple of slow tracks like "Runaway Wind" and "Things" which are really beautiful and folk driven.

Another album that should have sold millions but for the few of us who are lucky enough to discover it, you won't ever regret it.
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