Paul Weller
Sonik Kicks


3.5
great

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
March 28th, 2012 | 11 replies | 5,575 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Weller, Weller, Weller...tell me more.

Life must be fairly peachy for one Mr. Paul Weller. A storied career in music with The Jam, The Style Council and his own solo efforts has seen him eternally deemed ‘Modfather’. His personal life appears to be more than steady too; comfortable, re-married and with children ranging from young to adult ages. This is where some people fall down. Familiarity does not only breed contempt. It can raise the ugly spectres of complacency, boredom and laziness. Weller’s career has always been built upon the foundations of a solid work ethic which has showed no signs of letting up. 2008’s 22 Dreams was placed prominently on many of that year’s Best Of…lists, while 2010 saw him morphing into a more socially conscious figure with Wake Up The Nation. Both albums were also a testament to the friends and characters he has in his orbit. Noel Gallagher, Gem Archers (Oasis/Beady Eye) and former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, amongst many others, all put in the work to help Weller achieve his aims.

Sonik Kicks rather helpfully lives up to its name. By his own admission, Weller has been listening to more wide-ranging influences as the record took shape. Krautrock, in particular, was one style and genre that he had been paying keen attention to. The effect is immediate; opening track “Green” is replete with all manner of sounds, a repetitive yet sprightly beat and fragments of language that flutter between the left and right speakers at will. “Kling I Klang”, found a little later on the album, is a textbook Kraftwerk reference by virtue of its title alone. The song itself is a frantic little number, its perpetual motion giving some idea of the state of mind of its creator. There is plenty more experimentation to be found throughout the record. “Sleep Of The Serene” is something of a stoner’s dream, its ambient mix of digital effects and traditional orchestral mores calls to mind a distorted lullaby. “Study In Blue”, placed proudly dead centre of the album, combines dub, reggae and a sultry female vocal take that seems dead set on easing you into that time when a good portion of the world looks forward to the summer months. Towards the end, “Around The Lake” grabs you with an eager bass line before culminating in a psychedelic meltdown.

Weller traditionalists (Vespa owners, dodgy haircuts, multiple copies of Quadrophenia on different formats) need not fear. His experimentation is neither senility nor a midlife crisis. Any fears that he has lost his common touch are assuaged by two tracks in particular. “By The Waters” is an introspective, haunting tune that floats upon acoustic guitar and orchestral backing. “That Dangerous Age” combines a number of past styles; groovy soul, simple yet memorable guitar riffs and a big sound that envelopes all.

Maybe he’s not regarded as the most fresh and reputable artist anymore, but he really knows how to give and get his kicks.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2012



7326 Comments


Never been a Weller fan in the slightest, I am a little curious about this though.

Good review!

Knott-
Emeritus
March 28th 2012



10195 Comments


Well hellOOOO Mr. Viney. Nice review and nice summary.

WhiteNoise
March 29th 2012



3106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I kinda dig this album. Wake up the nation had some good songs but the production was just utter noise. This has a really cool vibe throughout it.

CaptainDooRight
March 29th 2012



28832 Comments


study in blue is soooo sick!!

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2012



6438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Study In Blue is the clear highlight. The whole album isn't really bad, but it's too inconsistent for me to call it great. I liked Wake Up The Nation waaaaay better than this.

Nice review, btw.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

jefflebowski
March 29th 2012



7978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

middle of the road rock, obscured by widdly electronics

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2012



15732 Comments


what a wonderful summary

AtavanHalen
March 30th 2012



17927 Comments


dragonfly video is amazing

so many tits

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2012



6438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Too bad the song is boring as hell

BewilderedLemon
March 30th 2012



123 Comments


Oh great, another Paul Weller album...

qwe3
April 1st 2012



21355 Comments


"Weller traditionalists (Vespa owners, dodgy haircuts, multiple copies of Quadrophenia on different formats) need not fear."

haha



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