Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern
British icon and mod-revivalist kingpin Paul Weller returns with his first album in three years, and it’s rather a different beast. Incorporating a variety of different sounds and textures, he ventures to create something that will leave listeners with a smile on their faces, whilst simultaneously scratching their heads.
The immediate impression is one of indifference. This seems a confused record that tries to accomplish too much, and in the process, doesn’t accomplish any of it – an album that doesn’t really know what it is. However, what this album deserves is a number of listens, after which its true essence begins to emerge and really grow.
Every track is laced with crisp, multi-layered production. Subtle electronic samples flitter in and out to powerful effect. Weller’s sound and style remains “British”, but there is something more at play here; it’s a big sound you’re listening to on this record. This is certainly helped by the great musicianship, which is brought to the table by a plethora of players from all reaches of the musical map. There is heart and soul on this record and it comes through strongly in both Weller’s vocal performances and lyrical content. The rock-driven Long Time has him singing: “For such a long time, I couldn’t find myself, for such a long time, I thought I was somebody else.” The highlights of the album come in the form of the emotional I’m Where I Should Be and the grungy In the Car, both of which show off Weller’s versatility.
While the opening tracks set it up, it’s in the second half that the album really comes into its own, as it becomes less confused and more coherent. It gains a certain direction that is ultimately rewarding and brings the album together, culminating in the final track, These City Streets – a sprawling eight-minute groover complete with strings and synths. Many artists from decades past have a hard time adjusting themselves to the sounds and tastes of modern music whilst retaining what made them relevant in the first place. Fortunately for Mr Weller, this has evidently not been a problem. This old dog has learnt new tricks.
Saturns Pattern is released on 18th May 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Saturns Pattern here: