Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paul Weller Wake up the Nation

A new Paul Weller so soon? After the epic, sprawling opus of 22 Dreams, I figured it would be a long wait til the next outing from the modfather. Much to my surprise comes Wake up the Nation.
16 tracks of much more straight ahead rock. In contrast to 22 Dreams which seemed epic and overthought, this one is pretty straight ahead. It still packs a bunch of musical twists and turns, but all in packages under 4 minutes. The tunes seem effortless. Stand out tracks for me are "Find the Torch, Burn the Plan", "No Tears to Cry"-which is pretty nice Motown/Orbison influenced jammer, and the title track. Even for this records more compact nature, he manages to stick in a 5-part song in "Trees".
I don't think this hits the highpoints that were on 22 Dreams, but it also doesn't meander quite as much. You get 16 tracks in 40 minutes. Just right for my attention span. The guitars are pretty understated throughout and this would have been a stronger record with a little more punch in the solos-maybe a guest appearance from Noel would have been the ticket? I guess you have to settle for Bruce Foxton.... Either way at 52 he is still pumping out some quality jams, and this will be in rotation for summer road trips. I think the best part about another Weller record is him showing you can grow old without being old.


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