After some glorious time away in NYC it’s time to get back to the blogstone.
Just before I left, Paul Weller’s 12th (gulp) solo album SaturnsPatten was released. Since the release of the monumental “As Is Now” ten years ago (gulp gulp) The Modfather’s albums have been patchy affairs at best. The follow up “22 Dreams” is not only my least favourite Weller album to date; it’s the most disappointing album I’ve ever bought. The subsequent “Wake Up The Nation” & “Sonik Kicks” were an improvement but rarely reached the heights of Paul’s best work.
Whilst I was aware that Paul had signed to Parlophone (now part of the Warner Music Group) it wasn’t until I pulled the record out of the sleeve and saw the classic yellow and black label that I realised what a big deal that must have been, even an old hand like Weller must have got a semi at the prospect of seeing his name on THE label?
Most reviews of this album go along the lines of - opening track “White Sky” Black Keys/Jack White stonking opener – followed by experimental tracks that are not too long or too experimental. While this is sort of true, unlike the three albums previous the experimental aspect colour the songs as appose to inform them. The result is the strongest set of songs in ten years, arranged concisely and beautifully produced and co-written by long time Weller accomplice Jan 'Stan' Kybert. Along with Steve Craddock, The Moons’ Andy Lewis & Ben Gordelier and The Strypes’ guitarist Josh McClorey is original Jam member Steve Brookes on slide guitar. Steve was in the original lineup with Weller on bass and Rick Buckler on drums.
If the album lacks anything it’s a catchy “single release” song that will pull in the casual & disenchanted Weller fans and be a corner stone of the live set for the next (?) years.