Style Council - Café Bleu - Review
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critics' view

Thumbing through the albums on this list, Cafe Bleu will stick out for it’s distinct lack of synthesizer — a common factor in many groups slapped with the sophisti-pop label. But throughout Cafe Bleu —the proper studio debut by Paul Weller’s post-The Jam group The Style Council — a mix of blue-eyed soul, jazz, and modern influences (for the time at least) made this record a sophisticated, progressive piece of pop. There are silky ballads (“The Whole Point of No Return,” “The Paris Match”), hard-bop influenced romps (“Me Ship Came In!,” “Dropping Bombs on the Whitehouse”), funky jams (“Strength of Your Nature,” “Council Meetin’”) more straightforward pop tracks (“Here’s One That Got Away,” Headstart for Happiness”) and even a random-yet-fitting endeavor into hip-hop (“A Gospel”). Stylistically, Cafe Bleu is a bit of a grab bag, but one thing remains consistent through the record — a sophisticated sense of production and a strong emphasis on aesthetic over genre.

A.T. Bossenger
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