25 Songs, 1 Hour 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With 2008's 22 Dreams, mod icon Paul Weller began a creative rebirth that's led to some of the most experimental material of his career. Always a top-shelf melody man and lyricist, Weller can now add sonic adventurer to his profile. The two-minute instrumental "Sleep of the Serene" is a mix of swooping tones and Mellotron activity that's pure modern psychedelia. That leads into a Mad Men–styled soul ballad ("By the Waters") that retains hints of The Style Council. The club beats and driving modern pop bass line give Weller a luxurious ride for "The Dangerous Age". It's been suggested that this is Weller's response to David Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" (Low, "Heroes", Lodger), and there's a clear interest here in krautrock motorik rhythms. However, there's also an eclecticism that's difficult to quantify. "Study in Blue" imagines Portishead as a band of extroverts. "Around the Lake" drives down the motorway with a vengeance. "Be Happy Children" caps things off with a space-age soul hymn. Weller sounds refreshingly alive here with ideas and pleasure.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With 2008's 22 Dreams, mod icon Paul Weller began a creative rebirth that's led to some of the most experimental material of his career. Always a top-shelf melody man and lyricist, Weller can now add sonic adventurer to his profile. The two-minute instrumental "Sleep of the Serene" is a mix of swooping tones and Mellotron activity that's pure modern psychedelia. That leads into a Mad Men–styled soul ballad ("By the Waters") that retains hints of The Style Council. The club beats and driving modern pop bass line give Weller a luxurious ride for "The Dangerous Age". It's been suggested that this is Weller's response to David Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" (Low, "Heroes", Lodger), and there's a clear interest here in krautrock motorik rhythms. However, there's also an eclecticism that's difficult to quantify. "Study in Blue" imagines Portishead as a band of extroverts. "Around the Lake" drives down the motorway with a vengeance. "Be Happy Children" caps things off with a space-age soul hymn. Weller sounds refreshingly alive here with ideas and pleasure.

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