Monday, July 12, 2010

Paul Weller Wake Up The Nation 2010

Paul Weller's Wake Up The Nation is a plenty good record. I'm thrilled that a friend turned me onto the release, because that's always fun. I'm also embarrassed that it's the first time I've heard Mr. Weller's work (half of the U.K. just had a fit). I knew of the Jam enough to know I wasn't really a punk fan. Style Council went by unnoticed. But I suppose I have no excuse for the fact that this is the first of his ten solo albums since 1992 that I have heard.

Hard punky rock with hook-laden choruses. Rock with electronica splashes, and big Brit-pop anthemic ballads. There's quite a lot going on.

The record opens with Moonshine, a Bo Diddly stomper via Springsteen via The Clash. Wake Up The Nation is The Jam/The Clash all the way, but this punk is dressed up today. No Tears To Cry is a big Spectorian production of what sounds like a Southside Johnny soul ballad. And Andromeda is another big production, this time over a Kinks-like ballad.

Find The Torch, Burn The Plans is a huge Brit-pop anthem, with big guitars, twitchy keyboards, and a sing-a-long chorus that Coldplay would die for. Aim High brings a moody vocal over driving jazz-rock that sounds a little like the better R&B sounds of the seventies. 7&3 Is The Strikers Name is a noisy mess of a song that is perfect for the angry lyric.

There are a few lesser moments, but when you pack 16 songs onto a CD, there's almost always some editing to be hoped for. There are two pretty trite instrumentals, and some of the rockers are a bit mundane (Up The Dosage). But even some of the weaker tracks exhibit interesting experimentation (Trees, Pieces Of A Dream).

I'm sure there's Jam and Weller fans just agape that I finally just now heard Weller. Well, no matter what you do, you just can't get to them all. Better late, as they say. I can't tell you how good it is compared to any other Paul Weller record, but it was certainly worth my time.

1 comment:

  1. Wake Up The Nation is second only to what I feel is his best solo outing to date, 2005's As Is Now.

    Paul Weller is a rock god. He's also a right shit for never coming to the States, save NYC and LA, to tour.