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"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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Westerberg's album has that flavorful, bitter-sweet taste that leaves you with the somber reality of life. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Integrity Todd
Not your average album, but Paul Westerberg knows how to give you some gritty rock to listen to while you work.Published on April 1, 2014 by cj
It isn't fair to Paul Westerberg...after being the voice of my youth (and so many others), he can't release an album without being compared to the memory of that period. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Daniel W. Bleier
Since The Replacements clattered to a halt around 1991, Westerberg's solo output has been characterised by an almost wilful diversity, suggesting a personal desire to explore... Read morePublished on July 4, 2011 by Ange Tsibo
I know that most are going to say that I've gone too far by calling this a masterpiece but it truly is in my mind. Read morePublished on March 4, 2011 by Michael
i don't think alot of people know who the musician paul westerberg is or even the replacements the band he was in before he went solo there is something about his music that i love... Read morePublished on August 7, 2009 by Shawn Keeney
Always been a fan of The Replacements, and this 2 CD set is one of those that I can play over and over and over until I suddenly realize I'm tired of it (after a few days of this),... Read morePublished on December 21, 2008 by Steven Swan
Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit.... By far Paul's best post-Mats release and vastly superior to the last two Replacements albums. Read morePublished on March 5, 2007 by SUPERMAN
I listened to this album a few years after it came out. Even though I am a fan of many of the artists that he influenced, I didn't listen to much Westerberg, other than some of... Read morePublished on November 21, 2006 by Christopher Ruble