Oct 282012

In our newest installment of this micro-poll, we ask you to choose between two potentially telling options, then justify your choice with a few well reasoned sentences. This edition asks you to choose between 2 albums by The Jam:

This Is the Modern World or The Gift?

SHOWDOWN (choose one): The Jam's This Is the Modern World or The Gift?

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I look forward to your responses.



  14 Responses to “Choose Sides!”

  1. Suburban kid

    “The Gift”, because it’s always funny and you can listen to it three different ways. The Jam are never funny and while “Modern World” is one of their only tolerable songs, “This is the Modern World” is one of the album purchases I consider a mistake.

  2. Slim Jade

    The telling point here is that you’re asking me as an adult, and not as an Angry Young Man. “The Gift” has stood the test of time, and I find it a both a more enriched album with its funk/r&b touches, and I think they are a successful extension of the Wilson Pickett trend found on “TitMW”.

  3. I’m not much for the Jam, but I picked “This is the Modern World” I saw them twice, once in 1978 around the release of this is the Modern World,and another time sometime around ’81. The earlier “Who” styled Jam was extremely entertaining. I remember them leaping around the stage like the Who at their friskiest and sounding really great doing “News of the World”. The later period “Kinks” styled Jam left me cold. They were turgid and i remember it as the first concert that I saw using those annoying burn lights that shine into the specators’ eyes, temporarily blinding them. Call me superficial.

  4. I don’t own either album. They are two ends of the Weller at his windbag worst. His voice often sucks when he tries too hard to bark out STATEMENTS. The title of the second album is pretty good and there are a few other trinkets that I haven’t missed hearing in 20 years, but for all I can’t stand about The Gift it’s got “A Town Called Malice,” maybe a Top 10 Jam song. I’m giving a slight edge to The Gift. A couple other songs at least hint at something more than the early, second-rate George Harrison-style writing efforts I enjoy just enough on Modern World.

  5. The Gift is good to occasionally great. This Is The Modern World is occasionally-entertaining juvenilia. Not even a contest.

  6. hrrundivbakshi

    I for one think The Gift is underrated. It’s got a bunch of really great chunes on it: “Carnation,” “Happy Together,” “Precious,” “TCM,” and one or two more. The problem with the album is that the bad songs are *really* bad, which makes it hard to listen to — at least in the old, side-at-a-time method. “Modern World” is almost all mediocre to terrible, which makes it the loser in my book. It’s the one Jam album I don’t own.

  7. misterioso

    The Gift, for essentially the same reasons as the great 48 and hrrundivbakshi. The Gift has major flaws–a couple lousy songs and some very dodgy production decisions–but it overall it is not bad at all; whereas TITMW has, I think, 2 good songs.

  8. bostonhistorian

    Whichever is shortest. Whenever friends talk about bands that haven’t aged well, the Jam is almost always at the top of the list.

  9. I cam to The Jam at the time of All Mod Cons and really liked that and all that followed. When I went backwards I could never get into either In The City or This Is The Modern World. Those two struck me as less melodic, less pop. Or maybe it’s as Geo says; All Mod Cons and following are more Kink-ish and, unlike Geo, that’s going to carry the day for me.

  10. 2000 Man

    I’ve got no problem being uncool enough to think Town Called Malice is one of the best Jam songs. Their albums are kinda spotty, though. For a long time I just had live albums and that Greatest Hits album so I’d have Going Underground, which I think is one the best songs ever. I wouldn’t buy The Gift or This is the Modern World, though.

  11. BigSteve

    Modern World in my favorite Jam album.I think bands are often more interesting just before they’ve figured out what they’re doing.

  12. diskojoe

    Another vote for the Gift, which is getting the deluxe “immersion” box set treatment, which is surprising to me since either All Mod Cons or Sound Affects are more deserving of the honor:


  13. Modern World. As has been said, The Jam didn’t age well with me either but I like the more rockin’ side of the Jam. Some of the vocals are funny on the album but the guitars are good. I HATE Town Called Malice. It’s just a stolen tune–reworked Can’t Hurry Love which I don’t really like either.

  14. great, now Town Called Malice is stuck in my head… Thanks a lot!

    Now that I think about it, however, I saw the Jam on the Gift tour and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

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