Tuesday, May 11, 2010

waking up with Mr. Weller

Paul Weller can always be counted on to ignite a little fire into the souls of the UK music scene during times of political upheaval. He's usually tagged as "the voice of a generation" whether he likes it or not. So it makes perfect sense that he would lunge into a new elpee at this moment. He's never been the type to saunter back into view casually.

His scathing lyrics and full throttle guitar always pushed things up a notch in The Jam. Then he switched to a more mannered approach in The Style Council, his wordplay draped in more Blue Note than blue collar.

I haven't had a chance to delve deeply into "Wake Up The Nation", his 10th solo studio effort - 22nd if you count his work with his previous bands, but I have been spinning the first single, an old school double a-side pairing, on the old Victrola quite a bit.

"No Tears To Cry" sees PW in retro 60s soul mode hearkening back to his days with TSC. It even has a whiff of Gene Pitney about it.

And "Wake Up The Nation" is an incendiary number reminiscent of his work with The Jam.

Get your face out the Facebook, indeed, Mr. Weller! There's something sorta sexy when he spits around the 1.53 mark. He's mad as hell and he isn't gonna take it anymore! Hot.

Dig him shooting a music video for both songs! He's a counter culture icon, kittens. If this double a-side single is anything to go by, I suspect Paul Weller just unleashed another towering musical statement.


  1. The old man was probably hammered when he shot No Tears To Cry! The album is a bit Jammy for me, which will go over well with the punky dudes.

  2. Thanks for posting these two! They're great. 22 Dreams knocked my socks off and I'm hoping for the same affect.

  3. I'll have to sample these wares. I pretty much ignored Paul Weller after The Jam. I enjoyed every Jam release from 1980 to the end, though the last few singles were admittedly a bit weak. The Style Council just bored me to tears. After buying their first few releases, I stopped. I got Wild Wood in a nice deluxe 2xCD package after hearing it playing in a store but also found it eminently missable once I sat down and listened to it. It went in the "out" pile pretty fast.

  4. Well, I sampled the wares. I like these a lot more than TSC or Wild Wood. I preferred "No Tears To Cry." You say Gene Pitney, and I can see where you're coming from, but I say Mink Deville! Evidence:


    My two cents®? I say Gene Pitney influenced both Willy Deville and Paul Weller, but damn "No Tears To Cry" plays like a Mink Deville classic and with Willy sadly gone, it was nice of Weller to pick up the torch.

    I haven't heard Weller sing in a dog's age (perhaps two) and I like the changed age has wrought on his pipes. He had a tendency to bellow in his youth that was a bit off putting. These are both very enticing. Maybe I'll have to re-examine Paul Weller. He sounds like a better fit for me now.

    I respect the double A-side gambit with two videos too! Sort of like the tail end of The Jam where they released "Town Called Malice" b/w "Precious" and had clips for both!

  5. I got into The Jam when "Sound Affects" was released in 1980. I bought everything that came out until the end, thanks to US Polydor's penchant for combining singles into frequent EPs. But the Style Council debut recordings didn't fly with me. Not my cuppa, at age 20. Now that I've acquired a "patina," perhaps I should revisit those records. I think I still have some TSC vinyl somewhere.

    But yeah, when Weller sang in the first clip it was Willy DeVille from beyond the grave! Chills, man. Chills. Willy DeVille was a helluva singer. He was the only white guy whom Jack Nitzsche considered a real singer.

  6. @REVO - You are so right about Willy DeVille! Thanks for closing that gap.

    "Town Called Malice" and "Precious" were my introductions to The Jam. I had to backtrack just as they called it a day. Then I got obsessed with TSC.

    I would've picked you as a TSC fan. But I guess that's where our roads diverge for a moment.

    You'll have to excuse me. I've got a touch of jetlag and I'm constantly misspelling things today. Haven't had my morning cuppa yet.