The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong
Label: Polydor Records
The Gift is only a letdown when placed next to the three Jam albums that preceded it. The band concocts a bracing mix of new-wave, '60s R and B, and English rock on such key tracks as "Ghosts," "Happy Together," "Precious," "Running on the Spot" and "Carnation." The single "A Town Called Malice" is a Motown tribute that is a liberating mix of contempt, heartbreak and hope -- it's Paul Weller at his best. The Gift is the Jam's last full-length album, though they went on to release two superb EPs before Weller broke up this great trio.