Friday, 31 August 2007

When Paul Weller found me

Today I’m going to lose my “reviewing virginity” and who should I do it with but the god that is, Paul Weller.
Back in my early teens I was in a very dark place. I neglected the classics I grew up with. I cringed when forced to listen to Springsteen on family holidays (whilst secretly loving his music). Even Costello tapes were shoved to the back of my wardrobe.
Instead I adopted a disgraceful taste in music whilst attempting to define myself as an individual. Avril Lavigne was a favourite, Pink songs sang loud and clear and shamefully enough, I sometimes even pulled out a bit of Busted.
That’s before Paul Weller found me.
This epiphany took place when I was attempting to learn to play the guitar. (Something I soon gave up on realising I was royally terrible at it)
On being asked if I wanted to learn a Paul Weller rift, I committed a sin that I will regret to this day. Dare I say it? I shamefully replied with, “Who’s Paul Weller?” (I cringe at the memory) The look on my teachers face was enough to make me realise I had said something truly terrible and unforgivable. To not know who Paul Weller is a tragedy. I have come to realise he is one of the few artists who fully deserves to be where he is. Not many people have this.
His songs are delivered so effortlessly yet with so much feeling. It takes a lot for a song to touch me emotionally and I will shamelessly say at least half of his have done such that. His voice is distinguished, slightly husky at parts, a twang here a there, and an ironic light deepness to it.
I’m not just talking the classics such as “You do something to me”, although this is a classic for a reason.
On educating yourself on Weller you can take two paths. You can take The Jam road. This is probably a good idea yet I would say I personally prefer his later work as a single artist.
The other road is Stanley Road. As Josh has already said, Stanley Road is a “
rich production, beautiful lead guitar work and vocal layering, all tied together by a tight rhythm section.” But aside from the musical technicalities, there is a lot of truth and sentiment in the lyrics that really hit a spot.
“Time Passes” is an all time favorite song for me. Its captivating combination of piano and guitar assist you through the song whilst the lyrics speak emotional truths. With other great songs such as “Changing Man”, “Gilded Splinters” and “Broken Stones”, I would have no qualms in saying “Stanley Road” is one of Paul Weller’s greatest productions.
If you’re however dying for more, have a listen to the album “Wild Wood”. “Sunflower” is a bit more upbeat whilst “Wild Wood” is defiantly more chilled. I would say “Wild Wood” is the more soulful album whereas “Stanley road” is more uplifting so it really depends on your musical preferences.
I would however recommend ending you Paul Weller journey with “Moon on your pyjamas”. With a title like that you just know it’s a corker.

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