Skip to main content's Review Of Paul Weller's "WUTN!"

Less than two weeks now until the release of one of the albums that many believe 2010 will be remembered for. So, is the ado justified? Is the new Paul Weller album “Wake Up The Nation” really going to shake the country more than Gordon Brown ever could?

‘Moonshine’ is a good start: energising, upbeat, “messy” in all the right places. Title track ‘Wake up the Nation’ is a 60's sounding attack to a country of procrastinators hooked on social networking. So, is Paul Weller going to set an example and “take his face off Facebook”? 49,450 fans on his page probably hope not. The song has a fair chance of waking up the nation, or at least a few people at first, but it gets a bit repetitive half way through. Next is a splash into a warmer, soul atmosphere with ‘No Tears To Cry’ which proves to be quite a fitting display for Weller’s voice.

Does this make any sense to you so far? Probably not. But don’t feel bad about it, this was never meant to make a hell of a lot of sense. This is not even Paul Weller experimenting with his own muses. In fact, it was Simon Dines, co-producer on the “22 Dreams” album, who sent some good ideas over, prompting the Modfather and his band to get together in a studio and build up sixteen very different tracks on them.

Keep listening now, especially if you’re a Jam fan, because it’s time for ‘Fast Car – Slow Traffic’. Yes, Bruce Foxton has joined in and you know instantly from the song’s liveliness, from how your feet start tapping in response to this brit-indie rock potential classic. But hey, the Jam are not back together and Paul and Bruce are now in their fifties, so let’s give it a rest and slow down with melodic ‘Andromeda’ and instrumental ‘In Amsterdam’, which makes me think of a funfair in a very weird black and white horror movie.

From here on, to tell you the truth, it seems to drag on a bit, boring me in a desperate effort to be unique. Most of the 16 songs on this album are under two minutes and they all seem to come from a different album or even artist. 16 two minutes songs, at least for me, is a formula that works for punk due to its unrivalled musical simplicity. Here that same formula feels like a scrapbook of unfinished ideas and, while I occasionally catch bits of melodies that are quite captivating, like in 70-ish ‘Aim High’, fast ‘Grasp & Still connect’ or haunting ‘Up the Dosage’, I keep being destabilised in my enjoyment every time a new song finishes and a new one starts.

‘Trees’ in particular is like having an entire concept album in one song, and while some may call it a masterpiece and definitely takes a huge amount of creativity to conceive, it doesn’t really float my boat. By all means, if you are into the Jam and/or Style Council and/or Paul Weller this is a must have, as they all make an appearance on this album, maybe for the first time trying to become one. If this is a good or bad thing, I’ll leave it to you to decide.

By: Christa M.


Popular posts from this blog

John Weller Obituary From The Independent...

For thirty years, John Weller managed the career of his son Paul, through the salad days and success of The Jam in the Seventies and early Eighties, the ups and downs of The Style Council and Paul’s re-emergence as a solo artist in the Nineties. Theirs was a unique father-son relationship in the music industry, built on John’s unwavering belief in Paul’s talent and shared values like hard work and pragmatism.

John could be blunt, and once refused to have lunch in a record company’s executive dining room, remarking to the managing director: “I didn’t come here to eat, I came to do business.” But his bark was worse than his bite.

John’s success was all the more remarkable since he started in his forties after years working in factories, on building sites and driving a taxi. When The Jam signed to Polydor in February 1977, for a £6,000 advance and a six per cent royalty rate, John admitted he didn’t have a bank account and asked for cash instead of a cheque. A&R man Chris Parry duly we…

Paul Weller's Son, Natt Gives A Candid Taxi Interview

Where else to meet the musician son of the agelessly groovy Modfather but at London’s trendy Met Bar? And there’s more than a hint of moody Mod style about the Japanese parka that Paul Weller’s eldest child Natt has slung over his Vivienne Westwood top.

Yet there all similarity ends, for singer-guitarist Natt has inherited the exotic beauty of his mother – former Wham! and Style Council backing singer Dee C Lee – rather than the famously angular features of his father.

‘Everybody always goes, “Luckily he took after his mum…”’ laughs Natt, whose mother is from France and St Lucia and whose great-great grandma was Japanese. Hence Natt’s fascination for Japan, where he moved in 2006 for a year to learn the language.

To pay for his studies, he modelled and deejayed, ‘I felt like an outsized monster,’ confides Natt, 21, a 6ft 1in beanpole. He returned a fan of Japan’s popular culture – from manga cartoons to punk-goth music – and with a different spelling to his name, which now features two ‘…

Nominate Photographer Stefan Duerr For Best Vinyl Art 2010 Award!

Photographer Stefan Duerr has designed art work and photographed a wide range of musicians such as Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene, Steve Cradock, The Vals, Marner Brown and The Moons. His design of Steve Cradock's solo debut, The Kundalini Target is eligible for the Best Art Vinyl 2010 Award!

Stefan is a very good friend of Paul Weller News and we would like to ask for our reader's support in helping Stefan win this award. In conjunction with industry experts, the award is also voted on by the public. So, please follow the instructions below and lend your support to Stefan and his craft. It will only take a few moments.

Go to:
Just enter Steve Cradock / The Kundalini Target in the first box,  and then vote for two other albums you like.
All three records on your list must be different, and you can only vote once. Voting closes at midnight 12th December.

Stefan Duerr Photography
Stefan and Paul Weller News kindly thank you …