Venerable singer/songwriter and former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg has signed a new exclusive recording agreement with Vagrant Records, it was announced today by Vagrant President Rich Egan. “Stereo/Mono,” the first solo album from Westerberg in three years, is due for release April 23.
“Words can’t describe the feeling of speaking to Paul Westerberg, much less having the honor of releasing his records,” said Egan. “I consider him to be among the three greatest American songwriters of the rock era (along with Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson). This new album, ‘Stereo/Mono,’ is a work that defies description in its depth and substance, so I won’t even try. I will just say that I feel like I can die happy (after he wins a Grammy that is).”
Westerberg, ringleader of the now disbanded Replacements, launched his solo career in 1992 with two songs on the “Singles” soundtrack. A year later, in the summer of 1993, he released his first solo album, “14 Songs” (Sire), a spontaneous collection of rock and pop songs that spawned the hit “World Class Fad.” In the spring of 1996, Westerberg released his sophomore album, “Eventually” (Sire/Reprise). “Eventually” was a mix of introspective pop music and poignant ballads. In 1997, Westerberg left Sire/Reprise. He recorded an EP for Boston-based indie Soundproof/Monolyth Records, a label co-owned by Darren Hill, who is currently managing Westerberg. That same year, Westerberg signed to Capitol Records, and in 1999 released “Suicaine Gratifaction.” The album was hailed as his finest solo work to date. That is until now. Where “Suicaine Gratifaction” drew the line between the past and the future, “Stereo/Mono” clearly finds Westerberg bearing his poetic soul, coming to terms with adulthood and reclaiming his status as one of the most talented singer/songwriters in American rock music, while simultaneously embracing the finger-to-authority punk rock-n-roll kid inside.
Vagrant will release “Stereo/Mono” on April 23.