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Paul Weller: True Meanings review – the modfather muses on mortality


Weller’s 40-odd-year career and ever-changing moods have taken him from the Jam to the Style Council to solo, via punky R&B, funk, soul and house to the genre-shifting experimentalism of the last decade. His gentler acoustic side surfaced as long ago as 1978’s English Rose, but he’s never done an album in that mould, as he does here. The voice, guitar and subtly orchestrated arrangements recall Nick Drake’s work with Robert Kirby, or Weller’s own Above the Clouds. On turning 60, the reluctant nostalgist finally allows time for some reflection, with a set of dreamily autumnal, wistful, even melancholy songs. The humbling Glide finds him passing “through a portal to my youth” to “see the memories unfold”, while the delicately, T Rex-ily soulful Mayfly glances backward and urges: “Let me feel the same way.” Wishing Well distantly echoes Neil Young’s Old Man. Old Castles and Bowie ponder change, self-doubt and mortality. Guests from Lucy Rose to, predictably, Noel Gallagher (unpredictably, on harmonium) can’t clutter songs full of space and air. Love features predominantly, along with lust in Come Along, featuring folk giant Martin Carthy. Unusually, the lyrics aren’t all Weller’s. Villagers’ Conor O’Brien pens the restless Soul Searchers and Erland Cooper provides words to three songs including the standout, White Horses – but Weller inhabits the latter’s musings on parenthood and family beautifully. These aren’t Weller’s greatest songs – Down in the Tube Station, That’s Entertainment et al can rest easy – but they are his loveliest.

Source of this (above) article: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/sep/14/paul-weller-true-meanings-review-the-modfather-muses-on-mortality

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