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Days of Speed
     

Days of Speed

by Paul Weller
 

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The arc of Paul Weller's three-decade career is a tour through modern pop, from the mod-punk he innovated with the Jam to the smart soul-jazz he pioneered with the Style Council in the '80s to the more trad-rock bent of his solo career since the '90s. With his first live album, Weller evens the plane stylistically,

Overview

The arc of Paul Weller's three-decade career is a tour through modern pop, from the mod-punk he innovated with the Jam to the smart soul-jazz he pioneered with the Style Council in the '80s to the more trad-rock bent of his solo career since the '90s. With his first live album, Weller evens the plane stylistically, offering solo acoustic renditions of songs from various points along the way. All are intimate glimpses of this restless artist, who's been a hit maker in his native U.K. but remains a cult hero in the U.S. Leaning most heavily on his solo career and very little on his biggest hits, Weller kicks off the set with the statement-of-purpose tune "Brand New Start" (recorded for his best-of Modern Classics, it became a hit in its own right), on which he bellows lines like, "All that is mine is in my hands/ So to myself I call," reasserting his self-confidence in the face of doubters who couldn't hang with his various incarnations. Outside of "Wild Wood" and the Jam faves "That's Entertainment" and "Town Called Malice," Weller sticks to lesser-known tunes, such as the gorgeous, heartrending B-side track "The Loved." But no matter if most of the songs here aren't immediately familiar: Weller's husky, Motown-inspired singing and his subtle, occasionally jazzy guitar playing knits the collection together with a tight weave, offering up many pearls for discovery.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Despite the unplugged boon of the '90s, Paul Weller steadfastly refused to succumb to the acoustic trend until the decade rolled over into the new millennium, and he did a solo tour shortly after the release of his fifth solo album, Heliocentric. This actually turns out to be a blessing in disguise, since Weller sounds relaxed and ready to confront his daunting back catalog, as happy to perform Jam tunes as he is to revisit his solo signatures. This results in a better solo live album than imaginable, since Weller is not only relaxed, he's loose and animated, giving an added dimension not just to his old Jam warhorses but from later Weller favorites. But the best thing about this album is that it sounds intimate and alive, as if he was performing his favorite songs in your living room -- an immediacy that's more apparent in these stripped-down arrangements than they are in full-fledged band versions. This doesn't necessarily result in an album that's packed in revelations for the doubters, but if you've spent any time with Weller's career, from the Jam to his solo albums, this will be a warm reminder of why you've grown with Weller -- and why it was worth it to devote the time.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/01/2001
Label:
Sony Bmg Europe
UPC:
5099750471722
catalogNumber:
5047172
Rank:
18207

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