4 December 2012
Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
The Changing man lived up to his title again in the 2012 release. For a bit of background on my feeling a about Mr Weller, I will admit I am not the biggest fan of some of his work. I found the Jam to be decent but never the most exciting band in the world, the Style Council were really style over substance and his early solo career at the beginning of the Brit-pop era left me more cold than the current winter weather in the UK at the time of writing this.
Then in 2010, he had to drop the musical bomb that was Wake Up The Nation - since then having revisited his other work, and whilst some of the above opinions have not changed I do find a respect for Mr Weller has grown in me. Not due to his clean cut suits or some of his musical and political leanings. I think it his ability to be like an almost Bowie-esque musical chameleon. Since he has went solo, he has never really stayed the same for more than two hours. Sometimes even on the same record he is going through many of his fine crafted suits just as fast as he changes musical directions.
So with Sonik Kicks we see him in a similar mind set. He tears up his last lyric book at the end of each recording session and starts with a blank canvas which to unleash his current musing and never resting on his past glories. With the help of three Brit-pop starlets, Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene), Graham Coxon (Blur) and the little known Noel Gallagher (Oasis - ok he is well know...sometimes text needs sarcasm alerts... ;-) ) we are taking a journey around the current mind set of Mr Weller. Stand out tracks like "Study In Blue" with it's almost dub reggae bass and beat, "Drifters" which has an almost middle east/desert drifting to the bouncy rock old school punk-ish new take of some famous lines by Judy Garland on "Kling I Klang", he never stays on the same subject matter or style. Even on the moments which do not works as well, such as "That Dangerous Age" and "Paper Chase" he still put enough in them to make you keep listening. Some of the earlier Weller albums would have had me reaching for a new album to listen to, but this like it's predecessor is a little gem.
Truly he lives up to the title - The Changing Man. Whilst this is not as engaging as Wake Up The Nation, it is still a very good album which can make sure he will be around for a few more seasons. Whether he is still playing some of these songs on the next tour, let alone the one after will be answered at a later date.
7 out of 10 - This is good and well worth a check
You can purchase from here
You can listen to on Spotify on here
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