Mike Flaherty
June 18, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

14 Songs

Current Status
In Season
Paul Westerberg

We gave it a B

A listen to the ho-hum solo output of rock & roll front men who’ve jumped ship from popular, critically acclaimed bands (the names Elvis Costello and Sting come to mind) is ample reason for fans to approach erstwhile Replacement Paul Westerberg’s debut with more than a little trepidation, if not resentment. And while 14 Songs may not completely assuage those heebie-jeebies, it stands as a sturdy, if slightly less ballsy, report from a songwriter whose up-against- the-wall anti-anthems proved a musical stepping-stone from punk to grunge. Overall, Westerberg seems to be inching toward a dreaded more ”mature” expression, though many tracks (most notably ”Knockin on Mine” and ”Something Is Me”) sport Replacements spunk, and the more finessed melodies of ”A Few Minutes of Silence” and ”First Glimmer” bespeak his long-standing and unabashed admiration for ’70s outfits like Badfinger and the Faces. In the end, not a bad start to a new career. B

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