Wake Up the NationPAUL WELLER

Wake Up the Nation

[Yep Roc]

Each new Paul Weller album is cause for cautious optimism. He’s never really made a bad record, but over the last three decades, he’s failed to recapture the energy of his seminal mod-punk trio the Jam. On his 10th solo effort, Weller comes as close as he likely ever will to a Jam reunion. That’s true in terms of personnel—Jam bassist Bruce Foxton joins him on two tracks—and performance. Despite moments of drowsy experimentation, the album is half full of hard-edged soul and psychedelic rock, executed with purpose. The better of the Foxton tunes, “Fast Car/Slow Traffic,” plays like a sequel to the Jam tirade “London Traffic”—only this time, Weller is behind the wheel and heading for the beach instead of pouting from the curb. His is a uniquely middle-age rage, as further evidenced by the anti-Facebook title track. This is not the cocksure kid of yore, but Weller still cranks his guitar and speaks his mind.

–Kenneth Partridge

comment closed

Copyright © 2010 M Music & Musicians Magazine ·