- Audio CD (April 7, 2005)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Vagrant
- ASIN: B000063UL8
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,145 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Audio CD, April 7, 2005
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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
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I do admit to liking the Grandpaboy disc a little better with the more raw rocking sound.
It depends on the mood I'm in perhaps, if you are winding down perhaps it's the first disc (Stereo), and if you wanna crank it up go with Mono/Grandpaboy. Really you can't go wrong either way.
He was once deemed perhaps the voice of a generation, and it does strike me as odd to think even today you may have to go left of the dial as it were to even hear the new stuff from him. As far as if the kids today dig him I don't know, college kids well I'm out of the loop, all I know is that you can give me Westerberg and Butch Walker over anything on the radio, and I'm happy.
I also highly recommend his next disc after this release "Come Feel Me Tremble" which is another keeper for sure.
Oh, and get yourself The Replacements (any, and/or all) too while you are at it.
A Replacement fan once told me: "Paul Westerberg walks on water; we sink". I second that. Hatts off Paul.
It's on the one you'll skip, his Stereo machinations, that you'll realize that Mr. Westerberg is worthy of respect.
Stereo takes us through a mainly acoustic tour through some swampy lands, but mostly he concerns himself with either generational observations (We May Be The Ones), fatherhood (Mr. Rabbit), or other things.
If you've been deprived, this is your record.
Like most people, I discovered Paul through his work with The Replacements, they became my favorite band and Tim became my favorite album so I decided to check out his solo work and I have to say that all of his albums are equally very good I think, 14 Songs, Suicaine Gratifaction and Stereo being my favorites. This album contains some of the most moving songs that Paul has ever written. Say what you will about the production quality on these two discs but to me it is one of the charms of the album. This is what music needs to be and what most popular music artists these days are missing. This is passionate music as far as I'm concerned.
Of course I didn't come to this opinion very easily, I will admit that I didn't like this album when I first listened to it but I'm glad that I gave it another chance and kept listening to it more and more. I will end this review by naming my top 5 favorite tracks on each disc. All of the tracks are amazing don't get me wrong but if I had to pick 5 then this is my list. Disc 1: Got You Down, No Place For You, Mr. Rabbit, Let The Bad Times Roll, Call That Gone? Disc 2: I'll Do Anything, Let's Not Belong, Silent Film Star, Between Love and Like, AAA.