REVIEW: Paul Weller 66

REVIEW: Paul Weller 66

The year 1958; Sweden held the FIFA World Cup, Sputnik 1 re-entered the atmosphere & burnt up, whilst Gibson patented the Flying V Guitar. Other significant musical appearances included the release of All I Have To Do Is Dream The Everly Brothers, Rave On by Buddy Holly and the birth of a certain John William Weller.

Reborn as Paul Weller, the last 65 years of Wellers earthly sojourn has seen him embrace a multitude of musical elements reaching back to when the young Modfather embraced Sargent Pepper after a sale of his own toys enabled the prized gatefold vinyl to be purchased. Since this early acquaintance with the Liverpool musical geniuses, Weller’s mind, heart and soul have been pigeon carried on its own Magical Mystery Tour welcoming in amaranthine singles, bullseye albums, his latest long player 66 is set to join this uninterrupted line of all conquering symphonic residence releases.

Recorded at his home from home recording studio Black Barn, Surrey, the creative juices on this new release magnify Southern soul, Revolution rock whilst there’s immaculate folk brushes and classical patches, used with the sort of grace only a Rembrandt brush could equal. Ship Of Fools, written with Suggs, opens proceedings. Breezing through as carefree as a summers days skipping adventure, there are however similarities to The Lodgers with its lyrics aimed towards those clueless cronies running the country.

Flying Fish reminds ever so slightly of Where I Should I Be but with an added disco glitterball; Jumble Queen has been played at length on Wellers recent live shows, changing its title from Take the more curious title and lyrics penned by Noel Gallagher talk of ‘take what you want’, maybe a nudge in the direction of Gallagher’s recent personal affairs, who cares, it’s a bonafide rhythm and blues cracker in a similar vein to The Hi Numbers Heart Of Stone.

Nothing has luscious horns, centerfold harmonies, with the addition of Kool and the Gang Summertime Madness synths; My Best Friends Coat is reminiscent of The Long And Winding Road with its whimsical delightsome classical piano and full band backing; Rise Up Singing has characteristics of True Meanings, delivering a strong sense of Major Lance at his prime, the use of a harp whisks you away into heavens summit.

I Woke Up is poignant, ‘I woke up, and everything had gone’ is Weller talking of a bitter split? Who knows, but this Bryter Later lamenting ballad delivers; A Glimpse Of You harks back in some small token to As Is Now The Start Of Forever; Sleepy Hallow could fit easily into the 10/10 The Coral album Sea Of Mirrors Weller sounding like the crooner we’ve been waiting for to fill Madison Square Garden; In Full Flight distributes subtle choruses with a Wailers sounding guitar filling the void; lead single Soul Wondering is the TOTP anthem that needs using on any rebirth, top notch John Lee Hooker guitars with a chorus straight out of the top draw, the track certainly brings a Whole Lotta Love.

Concluding tune Burn Out mirrors The Beatles Your Mother Should Know with the addition of Hole In My Shoe phasing, the combination is potent and lethal to the ears, heart, mind and soul. The album as a complete piece of work is as perfect as it gets from Weller, his talent seemingly knows no end, and it’s a real joy watching and listening to this remarkable path of work Weller has been on for these 66 years. Bring on the next 6 generations I say!

66 can be purchased via the following link