Paul Weller, with more years and nearly as many albums in his solo career as in The Jam and Style Council combined, has always had some surprises handy, and even his more rock-focused albums have tended to have some detours. With Sonik Kicks, though, he tests even his aesthetic flexibility. The album mixes as many influences as Weller’s ever pulled together. At its best, the album maintains a high level of excitement and energy, but at times the twists give it a manic side that doesn’t quite pull together.
Weller pushes the electronic sounds, frequently building mildly abrasive textures and agitating the music. The tones pair well with the song structures, which resist typical pop forms. Opener “Green,” for example, chugs along while Weller delivers almost spoken-word lyrics, occasionally cut by guitar runs or electronic surges before turning into a more meditative series of bloops. That track might have German influences, but “Drifters” …
ALBUMS: When it comes to topping the chart, timing is everything. Paul Weller wasn't able to get it right in 2010, when his Wake Up The Nation album debuted at number two, on sales of 52,563, beaten to the punch by AC/DC's unexpectedly big first week for compilation/soundtrack Iron Man 2 - but Weller got it right this week, and tops the chart with follow-up Sonik Kicks taking pole position despite a substantially lower first week sale of 30,269.
It is 53 year old Weller's fourth solo number one album, following Stanley Road (1995, on first week sales of 62,603), Illumination (2002, 54,283) and 22 Dreams (2008, 58,924). It comes 30 years to the week after his first number one album, The Gift, as a member of The Jam. Despite their popularity, it was their only number one album, though he returned to the summit as leader of The Style Council with Our Favourite Shop (1985) before pursuing a solo career.
Paul Weller is restless. I can't think of another way to explain his last three albums, each of which has found him casting outside his usual wheelhouse for material and producing excitingly eclectic records. Sonik Kicks is the latest of these, and it wears its search for new textures in its title. Weller does a lot more with electronic textures than usual here, though that doesn't mean he's gone and produced some kind of exploratory electronic album. Rather, he uses a lot of electronic toys and production tricks to goose the arrangements of what are otherwise pretty basic rock songs.
Weller doesn't have to do this. I think Americans can be forgiven for not realizing what a huge star he is in his native Britain, but he has laurels enough to rest on for the remainder of a career (his last two albums charted at No. 1 and 2 respectively in the UK). It could be argued that the Jam alone is laurel enough. That he still pushes himsel…
Paul Weller has contributed the theme song, "No Need To Be Alone" for the upcoming film titled, "Outside Bet." The film, set in the mid 80's also features two songs from The Style Council. "Outside Bet" is based on the book, "The Mumper" written by Mark Baxter and Paolo Hewitt. You can view the trailer here and read an exclusive interview with Mark Baxter over at Wholepoint Publications.
I had a terrible fright last week. While listening to BBC London DJ Robert Elms introduce a track from the new Paul Weller album, Sonik Kicks. What I heard sounded remarkably like Oasis. It seemed that the man who once influenced Noel Gallagher was now so bereft of ideas he was reduced to ripping off Noel Gallagher. To my relief Robert Elms followed the track with an apology. He had pressed the wrong button and had played a Noel Gallagher track by mistake.
By contrast Sonik Kicks actually sounds fresher than anything by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. It is clear that Weller feels confident about the album. He started his gig at the Roundhouse last night by playing it in its entirety, despite the fact that most of the audience had probably barely heard it and had come along hoping he would be doing "Going Underground" or "Eton Rifles" in…
A STATUE of Woking rock icons The Jam in the town could be the closest fans will get to seeing their idols back together after music legend Paul Weller ruled out the prospect of any reunions with his previous bands, The Jam or The Style Council.
The sculpture of the Sheerwater band, famed for hits including A Town Called Malice and Going Underground, has been commissioned by Barratt Homes and is due to be unveiled at the heart of the company’s New Central development in Guildford Road.
But that could be the nearest fans get to seeing the original members back together after Weller said he does not see the point in a reunion with either of the bands, ahead of the release of his latest album, Sonik Kicks.
He said: “I’m not interested in any reunions. Out of the two, Style Council sounds more appealing because we had a laugh at that time, but it wouldn’t be the same so what’s the point?
“Whatever great feelings or nostalgia I had for that time, I know I c…
By: Decca Aitkenhead
Paul Weller resembles an elder statesman of rock so precisely, he looks almost too perfect to be true – like a flawlessly styled, slightly over-obsessive lead singer in a Paul Weller tribute band. He has the perfect elder rock star demeanour – a blend of watchfulness and worldliness, poised with prideful dignity – and the perfect rock star voice, all innits and ain'ts. He is disarmingly courteous, and friendly – even intimate – in that way only the truly famous tend to be, and has just returned from promoting his new album in Milan when we meet in a Notting Hill private members' bar. The whole thing couldn't be more vintage rock star – until he starts talking about his day, when it all gets less backstage Wembley stadium, and surprisingly like the school gate.
His 11-year-old daughter came home from hospital earlier that morning, he explains, having just had her appendix removed, and his two-month-old twin boys are letting him get no more than five h…
With a 22-track experimental opus and a Mercury-nominated whipcracker proceeding this record, you could forgive Paul Weller if he fancied playing it a little bit safe with his latest LP - maybe roping in some guest stars and recreating the vibe of Stanley Road or Wild Wood. Credit to the man with one of the crappest nicknames in music then, because with Sonik Kicks The Modfather has completed a hat-trick of records that genuinely challenge his status quo.
With any Weller record, the sense of energy and enthusiasm that you get on first listen is usually a good indicator of the standards to be found within. Even on his more traditional records, you can see if his heart is in it or not, and proceed or not from that point. One listen to ‘Green’, Sonik Kicks’ opener, tells you that it’s going to be worth sticking about.
Shooting out of the speakers like an impatient cousin to Wilco’s ‘Art of Almost’, ‘Green’ is a bundle of energy that fizzes around…
Paul Weller is scheduled to play the Heineken Music Hall In Amsterdam on Friday June 15, 2012. Tickets are on sale March 8 and can be purchased at the following links.
PAUL WELLER Heineken Music Hall - Amsterdam Admission: € 45.00 (plus service charges) Start: 20:00 Ticket sales from the concert of Paul Weller kicks off next Thursday, March 8 at 10:00 am at: http://www.livenation.nl/, http://www.ticketmaster.nl/ and 0900 - 300 1250 (45 cpm).