Legendary British singer/songwriter Paul Weller ages gracefully on ‘As Is Now’

Reviewed by Mondo Castro

Paul Weller/As Is Now

After five years, talking to mod god Paul Weller over the phone remains the highlight of my foray into music. He was as casual as, say, an old friend who just got back after a long time, reminiscing about his past. In this case, it was Weller recalling his time with the Jam, the Style Council, the third phase of his career, and his then new album Heliocentric. I was nervous as a high school boy on the day of his prom night; Weller warmly told me that he was “just an ordinary bloke” and said that he’s the one who should be nervous. That broke the ice and paved the way for a 45-minute conversation that would last a lifetime. It’s heartening that one of my idols is still creating music that is relevant.

With the cappuccino-jazz of the Style Council behind him, Weller has solidified his place in the pantheon with excellent albums like Wild Wood, Stanley Road, and Days Of Speed.

On As Is Now, excellent tracks liken “Blink And You’ll Miss It” and “Come On/Let’s Go” oddly yet deftly mixes the punk influence of the Jam with the funk and soul flirtations of the Style Council. Weller gives us a curveball, puts out surprises like “Here’s The Good News” where he goes honky-tonk with the piano.

Yes, I may be a fan of the man, but take my word for it, As Is Now is one of Weller’s best albums. Crowned with the beautiful “All On A Misty Morning” and the gritty “From The Floorboards Up,” the modfather further proves that music gets better with age.

http://www.paulweller.com

Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 5:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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