Posted by: Nick Walters | September 7, 2012

Paul Weller: Sonik Kicks

Paul Weller looking angry

Orrible, joyless mess? FACK AFF Walters, ya CAAAHNT!

Been a while since I updated this blog… been busy on other things including a photo-blog which I am about to launch. Anyway, tons of music reviews to catch up on, starting off with Paul Weller’s latest…

Ugly title, ugly cover (he looks asleep! Why not use the much better one inside?), ugly record. I came to it initially praising its “experimental” nature, but Weller really doesn’t do experimental well. He got away with it on 22 Dreams because it was a sprawling record, all over the place, encompassing loads of different styles and packed with decent tunes. Wake Up The Nation was less impressive, sounding rushed and compressed, and even ugly in places. Sonik Kicks (why not, if you’re going down that road, called it Sonik Kix?!) is a looser album, embracing elements of electronica and krautrock, but by God it’s horrible. It’s mastered or produced or whatever in such a way that its unlistenable at any volume. Turn it up with headphones on and it shreds the eardrums – a common problem these days that ruins albums. Sadly, Weller’s voice is now a reedy, grating bark, like a Dalek doing Vic Reeves’ Pub Singer. His lyrics are now either complete and utter bollocks on toast (Kling I Klang) or embarrassing beyond the point of self-parody (That Dangerous Age). There are some good bits – Study In Blue is quite nice, if you ignore the lyrics – but overall this is a horrible, joyless mess, easily his worst album. This got me wondering what the last decent Weller album was. The last one I really enjoyed was the under-rated Heliocentric, back in 2000, 12 years ago! I remember dismissing the subsequent albums Illumination and As Is Now as tired, boring Dadrock, so I got them out and listened to them. Blimey! Wow! They’re brilliant, full of tunes, well-produced, and Weller’s voice is beautiful to hear. They’re not perfect, of course, but they tower over everything he’s done since (except 22 Dreams). So Mr Weller, please drop the experimental shite, and get back to what you’re best at – writing top tunes, and putting them on albums for fans to enjoy.

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