Modernism: A New Decade
|Modernism: A New Decade|
|Studio album by The Style Council|
|Released||26 October 1998|
30 October 2001 (re-release)
|Producer||The Style Council|
|The Style Council chronology|
Modernism: A New Decade is the fifth and final studio album by the band The Style Council. It represented a departure from the band's core genre of pop, to a new one; deep house, which was then being referred to as "garage" (as in Paradise Garage) music by the UK press. However, upon its completion in 1989, it was rejected by their label Polydor, which led to the band breaking up. Track 6, "That Spiritual Feeling," was re-recorded as a B-side to the first Paul Weller solo single, his 1991 hit "Into Tomorrow." The full album was eventually released in 1998 on The Complete Adventures of The Style Council box set; a separate release was authorised in 2001.
Matteo Sedazzari of Zani said the album "indicates Weller embracing a new music genre, house music, with it origins stemming from the young Chicago blacks in the early eighties experimenting with bass synthesizers and drum machines with samples." Weller said "I loved all the black house music that was coming out of Chicago and New Jersey, which I just thought was really soulful." Weller is a well-documented fan of soul music, saying "it connects a lot of people from all over the world." Penny Black Music considered it the band's "take on the UK deep house and garage scene."
Mick Brown of The Telegraph called the album "acid house-styled music". However, Weller "wasn't really big" on acid house, saying "I liked the East Coast, New Jersey stuff, more. That band, Blaze, I really liked. For the first time in a long time, I could hear the gospel influence, and it was still pretty much underground."
Weller was pleased with the album. He said that although he "wasn't jumping around the room," which he added "is probably a bad sign," he "liked it" regardless. Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins produced some remixes for the band, but Weller thought "they were fuckin' awful;" Weller commented "I think what we were doing ourselves was better." "Promised Land" is a "wonderfully gospel-tinged" single.
Valerie Siebert said that she "felt with the Style Council that [Weller] managed to keep slightly ahead of the curve in terms of trends," and later asked Weller in an interview for The Quietus that, "with Modernism: A New Decade, do you think you were just a little too ahead, seeing as that type of music would become huge a few years later?". Weller replied "I guess so yeah, it might have been that it was too early. But yeah at the time, for me, it was pretty cutting edge. But the record company didn't like it – they hated it actually! They didn't understand it whatsoever. They just thought it was going to be the final nail in my career coffin. And then that's why we split. But you know, sometimes you're ahead of the game and sometimes people don't get it and that's just one of those things you have to accept and carry on." Weller said he would have "probably moved on to something else" by the time that house music became "a huge thing a few years later."
- "A New Decade"
- "Love of the World"
- "The World Must Come Together"
- "Hope (Feelings Gonna Getcha)"
- "Can You Still Love Me?"
- "That Spiritual Feeling"
- "Everybody's on the Run"
- "Sure is Sure"