Saturday, 21 July 2018

Paul Weller - A Kind Revolution (2017)


Released May 2017

After four diverse and somewhat experimental albums, Paul Weller went a little bit “back to basics” with this one, from 2017. There were quite a few tracks that were very redolent of his halcyon days of “Stanley Road” and “Heavy Soul” in the mid 1990s - his “modfather” days as the darling “elder statesman” of “BritPop”.


1. Woo Se Mama
2. Nova
3. Long Long Road
4. She Moves With The Fayre
5. The Cranes Are Back
6. Hopper
7. New York
8. One Tear
9. Satellite Kid
10. The Impossible Idea

The strangely-named “Woo Se Mama” has airs of the rockier numbers from Weller’s mid-90s output about it, plus hints of Betty Wright’s “Shoorah Shoorah” in the chorus. It is a pleasing, rumbustious opener - solid and gritty. Some nice trippy, jazzy keyboard at the end. “Nova” is another powerful industrial rocker, augmented by some punchy, brassy horns and some cutting guitar from Weller. His vocal is, at times, eerily late 60s in tone. “Long Long Road” is a deliciously orchestrated, typical Weller slow number, with some convincing backing vocals and organ. “She’s Moves With The Fayre” is a staccato, slightly funky number with a wistful, floaty vocal that sounds as if it should be on 2005’s “As Is Now” album.

“The Cranes Are Back” is one of those bucolic, peaceful number that Weller excelled in during the 1990s. It never gets out of second gear, but it doesn’t need to. There is a deep, warm bass line on it. The lyrically perplexing “Hopper” ploughs the same, slow, reflective but potent furrow. It has an addictive rhythm and sort of gets not your system, particularly when the brass comes in. “New York” is a swirling, psychedelic-style number with some choppy guitar underpinning it. It also has a hypnotic organ and bass passage that I love. Again, its rhythm gently takes hold of you. “One Tear” is a trippy, chill-out number that starts with a delicious bass line and is another slow-burning groove. There are hidden depths to this album that mean several listens are necessary. There is some seriously funky guitar at the end of “One Tear”. It is a great track, not instant, but a grower.

“Satellite Kid” has some exhilarating guitar over a chugging beat and a bit of a dark, although upbeat, atmosphere. I can’t speak highly enough about this album, actually, Each listens reveals more. Also, refreshingly for Weller, it has great sound quality (which certainly “Wake Up The Nation” did not have). “The Impossible Idea” ends the album on a slightly laid-back, rustic-style pleasant number in that “Wild Wood” style. Hints of jazz in places. Great album.


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