Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sonik Kicks by Paul Weller

by George Neame

With a musical career spanning over 40 years, it seems surprising that The Jam front-man Paul Weller is still able to come up with new songs album after album. The success of 2010’s Wake Up the Nation brought Weller recognition with the younger generation and Sonik Kicks appears likely to build upon that success substantially. Opener Green features addictive guitars and keyboards even if the lyrics are, for the most part, painfully repetitive. The resulting sound is one almost as psychedelic as the illuminated album cover. King I Klang is also only kept grounded by its intense drum beat. When Weller notches down the tempo on songs such as Study In Blue, though, the lyrics seem to drift and the instrumentals become dull and tiresome. In addition, it feels at times slightly as if, whilst trying to keep the past alive through new music, his songs are simply being dug out of his record collection and there is very little on the album that is unique and original. Despite this, the album as a whole is a euphoric celebration of pretty much everything in the last 40 years of British music. The progression of the album from stomping anthems to violin-led ballads with female guest vocals on Be Happy Children show the true diversity Weller can encompass and call his own.

Star Rating: ***

Next Week: MDNA by Madonna

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