In comes Grandpaboy and Paul Westerberg doing the old one-two. Unless you’ve heard of Westerberg or know of the Replacements, you may be oblivious to the underrated CDs known as Mono and Stereo. It was my first ever purchase from the Paul catalog. It’s been one of my favorite discs and certainly one of the best multi-disc sets to ever grace the world. Think of this as an updated Basement Tapes without the overdubs that hinder its rawness.
There is plenty of praise of the album, and I’m here confirming the unheard goodness. Talk about cohesion. Mono is a rocker borrowing all that is good from the Stones. Nevermind the demo sound. Some call it lo-fi, but I call it phenomenal. The guitar work is very “mono,” or tonic, or drone-like singularity (not in a Middle-Eastern way). In any way, it comes off as brilliance while retaining mostly elementary guitar work, with smokin’ bluesy rhythms that keep everything in line.
Stereo is just as good. This one’s a lay-back-and-chill recording that fits any occasion. Feeling lowdown and ready to rue the day–this is your album. Is everything going just right–Stereo is at your service to consolidate everything. I find that this one is touched with melancholy, but it can look at itself without falling into clinical depression. Deep songs that capture a healthy dose of sorrow in which you feel the intensity. What makes this different from an “emo” album is honest reflection, and bittersweet lyrics that bring unspoken hope and joy.
I know it’s kinda low, but to me it’s high time.
This line is from Mono and it only gets better. I’ll save the lines of masterpiece for your listening experience or you can comment with your favorites by posting them below.
Like all of the Westerberg catalog, this stands out and there is something to be had by anyone who engulfs its presence. This one is a forgotten treasure and not a bad album to introduce yourself to. It warrants repeated listens. It has that golden irresistibility.