Similar artists

Albums

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 1994 | Island Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Paul Weller deservedly regained his status as the Modfather with his second solo album, Wild Wood. Actually, the album is only tangentially related to mod, since Weller picks up on the classicism of his debut, adding heavy elements of pastoral British folk and Traffic-styled trippiness. Add to that a yearning introspection and a clean production that nevertheless feels a little rustic, even homemade, and the result is his first true masterwork since ending the Jam. The great irony of the record is that many of the songs -- "Has My Fire Really Gone Out?," "Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)" -- question his motivation and, as is apparent in his spirited performances, he reawakened his music by writing these searching songs. Though this isn't as adventurous as the Style Council, it succeeds on its own terms, and winds up being a great testament from an artist entering middle age. And, it helped kick off the trad rock that dominated British music during the '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Island Records

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks
Take the title of Sonik Kicks as literally as that of its predecessor, the galvanizing 2010 Wake Up the Nation. Sonik Kicks delivers upon its titular promise immediately, coming to life with the stuttering electronic pulse of "Green," which immediately sweeps into a brightly colored psychedelic chorus, one of many dense collages and sudden shifts Paul Weller offers on his 11th solo album. Some of this contains echoes of the sprawling, picturesque double-album 22 Dreams, the 2008 record that began his latter-day renaissance, but Weller is determined not to repeat himself on Sonik Kicks, pushing himself into startling fresh territory with abandon. What's striking about the record is how much mileage he gets by rearranging old tropes, finding freshness in familiar sounds twisted so heavily they no longer sound comfortable. Aside from a slight hint of Krautrock, filtered through Berlin-era Bowie, there's no unexpected new sound or style here, but Sonik Kicks vibrates with vitality, Weller and his co-producer Simon Dine finding unexpected connections and crevices within his signature vintage soul, mod rock, and progressive folk. As good as these songs are -- and they are, whether it's the sly self-laceration of "That Dangerous Age" or the gentle sway of "By the Waters" -- what truly defines Sonik Kicks is, well, its aural stimulation. This is a record that buzzes with ideas, it's giddy with the noise it makes, and once its initial rush fades away, it still has plenty to offer in substantive songs and sheer sonic pleasure. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | V2 Music Limited, Under Exclusive License to Universal-Island Records Ltd

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
Prior to 2008’s 22 Dreams, Paul Weller was shorthand for stalwart rock & roll, never disappointing but rarely challenging, either. With 22 Dreams, he reconnected with his spirit of adventure -- the thing that drove him to split up the Jam at their peak to form the Style Council -- and created a rich pastoral double album that thrived on risk. Buzzing with guitars and gurgling effects, and built upon a succession songs that barely crest the two-minute mark, Wake Up the Nation doesn’t share much with 22 Dreams, apart from that sense of adventure with Weller cramming a suite’s worth of twists into a song. As packed as these tunes are, they’re drawn with crisp lines; for as busy as these are, nothing feels cluttered, they’re all teeming with life. Many of the left turns arrive via the arrangements -- witness how everything careens out of control after the chorus of “Grasp & Still Connect,” the elastic psychedelia of “Andromeda,” the updated New Orleans shuffle of “Trees’ -- or the unexpected collaborations, whether it’s the tightly wound reunion with the Jam’s Bruce Foxton on “Fast Car/Slow Traffic” or bringing in My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields to craft the dense dangerous heartbeat of “7&3 Is the Strikers Name,” but this isn’t window-dressing: the entire effect is 22 Dreams in reverse, contracting where its predecessor expanded, substituting introspection for action, swapping contemplation for excitement. Wake Up the Nation pulsates with an energy considerably different than the stomping rock & roll of As Is Now. That was all musical muscle, but this is music of the mind that remains fiercely visceral, music that feels of a piece of Weller’s entire body of work, but is quite unique in its execution and impact. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | AZ

Teenage rock & rollers often don't last. Certainly, they rarely keep performing into middle age, but Paul Weller has never been ordinary. From the outset, Weller was different -- too tense, too difficult to fit into the crowd even when he was the most popular musician in Britain, as he was when he led the Jam at the turn of the '80s. That ornery side gave his music an edge and also gave it a riveting humanity that earned him a passionate, devoted audience who stuck with him through a roller coaster of ups and downs in his career, from his abrupt disbandment of the Jam to form the slick, soulful Style Council to his comeback as the trad-rocking Modfather in the '90s. It's one of the great careers of the post-punk era, and the four-disc 2006 box set Hit Parade is the first attempt to tell it in its entirety, from the bright, brilliant early years of the Jam to his role as an elder statesman in the new millennium. Given the great wealth of music that Weller made during these three decades, the compilers picked the simplest and best solution to whittling down his rich, complicated career to the basics: they picked the A-sides of all of his British singles. This means that there are great songs left behind -- whether it's the Jam B-side "Tales from the Riverbank" or the soulful "Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)" from Wild Wood -- but that's the nature of hits compilations: great songs get left behind. What's impressive with Hit Parade is not what's absent but what's present, which is not only enough to make a case for Weller's strengths as a songwriter and restless rocker, but which helps explain the transitions in his career in a way that may be revelatory even for longtime fans. For instance, in this context the stylized café-soul of the Style Council seems like a natural outgrowth of the high-octane Motown-pop of the last Jam singles, and while it's hard to argue that the Style Council didn't drift in its latter years, it's easier to hear how revitalized Weller was as a solo artist when "Into Tomorrow" follows the fallow final gasps of the Council. Then again, by trimming his career down to the singles, the weak patches in his career aren't as evident: even when Weller's albums were patchy, the singles were often strong, and when they're taken together they aren't just an enjoyable, exciting listen, they tell one of the greatest stories in rock history, one that provides revelations even to those who have been with him since the beginning. And that's what makes Hit Parade a truly great box set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | V2

For Studio 150, his seventh solo studio album, Paul Weller delivers his first official covers album. Not that he's been reluctant to cover other songwriters, of course. Throughout his career, he's made covers a staple of his records and concerts. In fact, he cut so many as B-sides in the '90s that his 2003 B-sides and rarities compilation Fly on the Wall had a whole disc devoted to material from other songwriters. Studio 150 feels like a sister album to that disc, and not just because it shares a similar sensibility and has songs by both Tim Hardin and Neil Young. Musically, Studio 150 sounds as if it could have been recorded in 1995 as the missing link between Stanley Road and Heavy Soul, containing the swinging mod vibe of the former with the tough, muscular punch of the latter. While it could be argued that Weller is treading water, or even retreating after the subtle shifts forward on Illumination, it's almost a moot point since the band sounds terrific and he's in fine voice. Plus, this is a covers album and innovation isn't exactly expected on covers albums. What is expected is that the artist puts his own signature on songs from another writer, and Weller does that. True, as a whole Studio 150 doesn't sound all that different from other records in his catalog, but he's managed to find new spins on perennials like "Close to You" and "All Along the Watchtower," interpretations that fit within his signature blend of '70s soul, mod pop, and singer/songwriter introspection. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the album consists of songs from the late '60s and '70s, with selections from singer/songwriters like Tim Hardin, Gil Scott-Heron, Gordon Lightfoot, and Neil Young sitting comfortably next to relatively obscure soul and disco singles (with a previously unrecorded song from Weller disciple Noel Gallagher blending into the surroundings nicely). Some of these songs are familiar, but these arrangements are distinctly Weller's own, and it makes for an effective listen -- maybe not a major effort from the Modfather, but an enjoyable one all the same. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | UMSM

In many ways, Stanley Road is Wild Wood -- Part Two, a continuation of the laidback, soul-inflected rock that dominated his previous albums. Named after the street where he grew up, Stanley Road could be seen as a return to Paul Weller's roots, yet his roots were in The Who and the Kinks, not in Traffic. (At this point, the sound of The Jam matters little in what his music sounds like.) Weller's music has always had R&B roots -- the major difference with both Wild Wood and Stanley Road is how much he and his band stretch out. Stanley Road in particular features more jamming than any of his previous work. That doesn't mean he has neglected his songwriting -- a handful of Weller classics are scattered throughout the album. Unfortunately, too much of it is spent on drawn-out grooves that are self-conscious about their own authenticity. Still, he has the good sense to revive Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" and invite his disciple Noel Gallagher (Oasis) along to jam. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rock - Released June 29, 2007 | Parlophone UK

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | AZ

Teenage rock & rollers often don't last. Certainly, they rarely keep performing into middle age, but Paul Weller has never been ordinary. From the outset, Weller was different -- too tense, too difficult to fit into the crowd even when he was the most popular musician in Britain, as he was when he led the Jam at the turn of the '80s. That ornery side gave his music an edge and also gave it a riveting humanity that earned him a passionate, devoted audience who stuck with him through a roller coaster of ups and downs in his career, from his abrupt disbandment of the Jam to form the slick, soulful Style Council to his comeback as the trad-rocking Modfather in the '90s. It's one of the great careers of the post-punk era, and the four-disc 2006 box set Hit Parade is the first attempt to tell it in its entirety, from the bright, brilliant early years of the Jam to his role as an elder statesman in the new millennium. Given the great wealth of music that Weller made during these three decades, the compilers picked the simplest and best solution to whittling down his rich, complicated career to the basics: they picked the A-sides of all of his British singles. This means that there are great songs left behind -- whether it's the Jam B-side "Tales from the Riverbank" or the soulful "Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)" from Wild Wood -- but that's the nature of hits compilations: great songs get left behind. What's impressive with Hit Parade is not what's absent but what's present, which is not only enough to make a case for Weller's strengths as a songwriter and restless rocker, but which helps explain the transitions in his career in a way that may be revelatory even for longtime fans. For instance, in this context the stylized café-soul of the Style Council seems like a natural outgrowth of the high-octane Motown-pop of the last Jam singles, and while it's hard to argue that the Style Council didn't drift in its latter years, it's easier to hear how revitalized Weller was as a solo artist when "Into Tomorrow" follows the fallow final gasps of the Council. Then again, by trimming his career down to the singles, the weak patches in his career aren't as evident: even when Weller's albums were patchy, the singles were often strong, and when they're taken together they aren't just an enjoyable, exciting listen, they tell one of the greatest stories in rock history, one that provides revelations even to those who have been with him since the beginning. And that's what makes Hit Parade a truly great box set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 1992 | Island Records

Arriving between the implosion of the Style Council and the commercial comeback of Wild Wood, Paul Weller’s eponymous 1992 debut is sometimes overlooked, but it’s one of his finest records, a smooth, soulful excursion pitched precisely between the sophisticated swing of the Style Council and the rustic rock of Wild Wood. In the wake of the disastrous unreleased house album from Style Council, Weller chose to dig into his roots, relying heavily on Curtis Mayfield records and a dash of Traffic’s jazz lilt, creating a cool groove of an album, one that warmed well to light elements of acid house, whether it’s the extended coda of “Kosmos” or the many remixes of the album’s singles (all collected on Universal’s 2009 double-disc deluxe edition). As pure sound, Paul Weller is seductive -- it’s supple and relaxed, easing into its vamps and rhythms, maintaining its tone through shifts of tempos -- but it sticks because its Weller’s best set of songs in years, anchored by the tight opening rocker “Uh-Huh Oh Yeh,” the soulful lament “I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You,” the insistent pulse of “Bull Rush,” the gorgeous shimmer of “Bitterness Rising,” and the revitalizing rush of “Into Tomorrow.” Every one of these songs bears traces of Weller’s decade-long immersion in soul, but what makes it a leap forward is that no matter how familiar some of this feels -- and there really is no mistaking the lasting impression of Mayfield -- it all plays not as recycled but synthesized, Weller creating something new and true from his inspiration. He would soon underscore the rock and folk elements, quite wonderfully so, on Wild Wood, but everything here laid the groundwork for the third act of Weller’s career and it remains compelling and alluring in its own right. Generous as it may be, the deluxe edition doesn’t exactly deliver a lot of surprises for the hardcore Weller collector, but that’s only because this well has been tapped many times over, with all the stray tracks appearing as bonus discs in various territories, or as part of B-sides collections -- everything except an album-specific expansion, which this 2009 double-disc set is. Weller’s 1992 eponymous debut grows by 25 tracks here, with all the B-sides -- including “Fly on the Wall,” the lengthy jam “That Spiritual Feeling,” and a prescient cover of Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” that pointed the way toward Wild Wood -- spread over the two discs, along with a hefty dose of demos, alternate and acoustic versions, and the Lynch Mob beats remix of “Kosmos” that helped bolster his ties to Britain’s underground club scene. Again, none of this material is unreleased, but this may be the best way to hear it all, as it’s presented in historical context, and it’s sequenced in a smooth, entertaining sequence that enhances this already excellent album, turning it into a richer experience. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | UniversalIsland

Not counting whatever live Jam or Style Council albums there may be -- and there are many -- there are two official live albums in Paul Weller's solo catalog, not counting the bonus live disc on the 1998 hits collection Modern Classics, the live DVDs, or the host of live tracks that have shown up on B-sides and compilations over the years. All of this begs the question whether there is a great need for the four-disc box set At the BBC -- especially as it follows another four-disc box set, the career-spanning Hit Parade by roughly a year -- but for hardcore fans (and there are many), this is necessary, the best representation of Weller live yet released. Certainly, this offers the most music of any live Weller set: its first two discs are devoted to sessions, culling 40 highlights from 1992-2008, with the second two cherry-picking 34 songs from full concerts aired on the BBC between 1990 and 1998, including one of his first high-profile solo concerts at the Town & Country in 1990, a Royal Albert Hall show from 1992, and a headlining spot at the 1995 Phoenix Festival. In terms of years, this is a lot of ground to cover, but musically At the BBC is largely divided between soulful rock jams -- live, it sounds more than ever like a hybrid of Traffic and Humble Pie cut with a big dose of Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye -- and his delicate folky acoustic numbers. Within these confines there is plenty of room for surprises, however small they may be. Usually, they arrive in the form of a loving cover -- Weller revives Ronnie Lane's "The Poacher," Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo" -- but sometimes Weller and his band, fronted by guitarist Steve Craddock, simply sound bigger and bolder on-stage than they do on record, which can liven up the material, which is a subtle pleasure but a pleasure all the same. But what really impresses on At the BBC is Weller's fervent belief in the power of being a working musician, that there is value in working and playing steadily. At the BBC showcases Weller as a working musician, finding new meaning in familiar tunes and sometimes grinding through the ruts knowing that a peak is just around the corner. This attitude characterized Weller's solo career from its outset in 1990 until 2008's elastic 22 Dreams, and no other album captures that aesthetic quite like this lengthy live box and that's reason enough for it to exist. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rock - Released May 12, 2017 | Parlophone UK

Rock - Released May 12, 2017 | Parlophone UK

£15.99
£13.99

Rock - Released May 12, 2017 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res
£24.49
£20.99

Rock - Released May 12, 2017 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res

Rock - Released March 30, 2017 | Parlophone UK