Although generally met with negative reviews by music critics upon release, This Is the Modern World has been described as being an album "with far more light and shade" than the band's debut album.
The photography for this album was taken by Gered Mankowitz and David Redfearns. The front cover depicts the band standing beneath London's Westway.
"In the Midnight Hour" (Steve Cropper, Wilson Pickett)
"In the Street, Today" (Paul Weller, Dave Waller)
"Here Comes the Weekend"
"Tonight at Noon"
"Don't Tell Them You're Sane" (Bruce Foxton)
The US release had a different track order, included the "censored" single version of "The Modern World", and added the single "All Around the World" which was released in the UK between their first two albums. "All Around the World" had been their biggest UK hit to date, peaking at No. 13, a placement they would not match until 1979 when "The Eton Rifles" peaked at No. 3. Thereafter, no domestically released single by The Jam would ever reach a peak position lower than No. 4.
The only single from the album was the censored version of "The Modern World", peaking at No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart.