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Paul Weller's "Wake Up The Nation" - Review From The Boston Globe!

Paul Weller, 'Wake Up the Nation'
May 10, 2010
MARC HIRSH

Paul Weller sounds fired up all over “Wake Up the Nation,’’ his upcoming album that’s already available as an import. Apparently years away from exhaustion, the former Jam/Style Council kingpin proves himself energetic and vital well into his fourth decade of making music. If only he wasn’t doing his best impression of an overstimulated rookie scrambling to get as many ideas down as urgently as possible because he might never get another chance. His voice crosses David Bowie and John Lydon on the title track (which fits a song pitched halfway between “Suffragette City’’ and “Holidays in the Sun’’), while “Trees’’ is a rollicking New Orleans-style piano romp. Weller’s so all over the map that even the best tracks — like “7&3 Is the Strikers Name,’’ whose drum part is a lone snare placed right up front where a lead guitar would normally be — sound like ideas instead of songs. The closing “Two Fat Ladies’’ is a swinging blast, but it doesn’t build to anything and slams the album shut instead of ending it. “Wake Up the Nation’’ rocks with abandon, to be sure. What it needs is cohesion. (Out June 1)

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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.

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