Paul Weller: As Is Now
Badass riffs and rock 'n' roll
Released today, Paul Weller's new album As Is Now isn't the return to form which I expected. It's better. A tour-de-force! Weller at his most spectacular for almost ten years.
A new Paul Weller album is always an event for fans of the Modfather, but his covers album of last year made many wonder if he had gone off the boil after solidly delivering for so many years. As Weller himself explains on the bonus DVD film, he just wanted a break from writing. A break which lasted over a year and a half.
As Is Now is a mixture of styles. Balls-out rock 'n' roll, the likes of which we haven't seen from Weller since The Jam. Mellow, but up-tempo ballads of which Fly Little Bird is a stand-out track and others which are playful and experimental. The last single, From The Floorboards Up, remains for me the pivotal track. 2 minutes 27 seconds of badass riffs and rock 'n' roll. But the latest single, Come On/Let's Go is not far behind.
Sing you little fuckers, sing like you got no choice.
Oh yes, and Bring Back The Funk Parts 1 & 2 just does that too. Not the pick of the bunch or to top the best of the Style Council, but fun all the same.
Paul Weller seems to fall into the
love him or hate him category of artists, often dividing opinion. But from The Jam to the Style Council, from his work with Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene to his vast catalogue of solo material, you must be tone deaf if there isn't something for you to like. And if you need a catch up or have never heard the Modfather before, As Is Now is the perfect starting point. Fantastic!
It's funny, I've never liked Paul Weller - until I heard 'Wanna Make it Alright' on the radio recently. I kinda fell in love with that song and suddenly have an all new appreciation for the man. I really don't know what I've had against him all these years...
#2 On October 15, 2005 01:04 AM Alan Wyatt said:
The 2 singles from the album don't sound like the Weller I know, and are a bit uninspiring. It's difficult to imagine them growing on me.
Classic Weller doesn't need to grow on you - Into Tomorrow, Sunflower, Changing Man, Brushed, He's The Keeper, Written In The Stars - to name some comparably upbeat singles from previous long-playing offerings.
While I await delivery of As Is Now, I just hope that the rest of the album isn't like this so-called 'Rock N Roll', as it has seemingly been labelled.
Still, it also seems very well anticipated, so perhaps my concerns will be unfounded on hearing it.
#3 On October 15, 2005 10:26 AM Reuben Whitehouse said:
Weller is awesome. The man has a ton of soul lyrically and writes very hooky riffs.
I also love that Whitey creates very catchy fills - almost as riffy as the guitar parts.
That album artwork looks like an improvement on more recent albums, although not as memorable as Heavy Soul!
I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this album. I like the odd bit of The Jam and a few of Weller's own tracks, but I've really liked what I've heard of the new album so far. Will have to have a squizz when I'm next in town.