Friday, 25 May 2012

But I'm Different Now - Paul Weller at 54

I must admit that I'd grown a bit tired of Paul Weller. I still enjoyed the odd single, but the albums had ceased to engage me and the live shows I caught in the mid 1990s and early 2000s were....dull. Despite the fact that I fitted age-wise into the bracket myself, I came to look upon his oeuvre as Dad-rock - the ultimate insult!

So I was sceptical, to say the least, when I read the early reviews for '22 Dreams' in 2008 which were, almost uniformally ecstatic. Eventually, as the praise kept coming, I checked the album out. The reviews were on the button. It wasn't so much as a return to form, as an artistic rebirth which has continued with 2010s 'Wake Up the Nation' and the fantastic new album,'Sonik Kicks'. Suddenly all bets are off and no musical style is out of bounds. I loved The Jam, but at the moment I'd argue that Paul Weller is on the form of his life.

Today he's 54 - Happy Birthday Paul, I'm sorry I ever doubted you!


Anonymous said...

Haven't checked out Sonik Kicks as I, too, have become tired of PW, even though I've kept buying his albums out some kind of odd loyalty and then being not particularly excited by them. Will now explore further. I agree that '22 Dreams' was a fresh start. Haven't seen him live since the halcyon days (no, I'm not being sarcastic) of The Style Council, who I think get an undeserved bad press these days.

The Swede said...

Nothing wrong with Style Council Singing Bear, certainly in their early years, although they lost me (& themselves?) towards the end.

I meant to mention in the post that some great new hand-held live footage of Weller has emerged, performing 'In the City' & 'Art School' a couple of weeks ago in New York on the site of the old CBGBs - well worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

Will certainly be looking for that footage.

John Medd said...

Every now and again he'll creep up from behind and scare the b'Jesus out of you; From The Floorboards Up, Butterfly Collector (w/Noel) and Wishing On A Star, to name but a couple of recently recorded incidents. Ignore him at your peril.

The Swede said...

Fear not! He's well & truly regained my attention.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Loved The Jam, Style Council had there momenst...lost track a bit after that....Wild Wood was great, always kept an eye on him and thought 22 Dreams had some good moments...had not listened to anything of the new one will definately catch up....have not written him of for sure.

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