Studio 150

Studio 150

by Paul Weller
     
 

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Dating back to his days fronting the Jam, Paul Weller has always had a knack for putting his personal stamp on other people's songs. He really outdoes himself on this set, however, by using his smooth-soul fixation as a foundation, rather than a be-all and end-all. That's most noticeable on Studio 150's most adventurous inclusion, an

Overview

Dating back to his days fronting the Jam, Paul Weller has always had a knack for putting his personal stamp on other people's songs. He really outdoes himself on this set, however, by using his smooth-soul fixation as a foundation, rather than a be-all and end-all. That's most noticeable on Studio 150's most adventurous inclusion, an intense and relatively straightforward reading of Gil Scott-Heron's substance abuse allegory "The Bottle," but Weller doesn't stop there. He takes on "All Along the Watchtower" much like Dylan himself might do in the throes of one of his reinventions, swaddling the song in Band-like keyboards and gospel choir. The traditional "Black Is the Colour" gives Weller the opportunity to take the opposite tack, paring the song down to its core, with Eliza Carthy's violin providing the primary foil. Some of the choices -- a hotel-lounge take on "Close to You" (yes, that one), for instance -- are baffling, but as a whole, Studio 150 allows Weller to manifest the sort of wit and grit that have long been his strong suits.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2008
Label:
Universal Japan
UPC:
4988005521576
catalogNumber:
93567

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Weller   Primary Artist,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Steve White   Percussion,Drums
Carleen Anderson   Background Vocals
Claudia Fontaine   Background Vocals
Benjamin Herman   Flute,Horn,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Aimee Versloot   Strings,Cello
Martin De Ruiter   Strings,Violin
Steve Cradock   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Danny Thompson   Double Bass
Eliza Carthy   Violin,Soloist
Damon Minchella   Bass Guitar
Jan Van Duikeren   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Horn
Mieke Honingh   Strings,Cello
Seya Teeuwen   Strings,Viola
Sam Leigh Brown   Background Vocals
Anne Knapstein   Strings
David Kweksilber   Clarinet,Horn
Herman Van Haaren   Strings,Viola
Ray Bruinsma   Flugelhorn,Horn
Lorre Trytten   Strings,Viola
Pauline Terlow   Strings,Viola
Stefan Schmid   Synthesizer,Moog Synthesizer,Korg
Williem Friede   Strings,Horn
Bastiaan Van Der Werf   Strings
Dalbir Singh Rattan   Tabla
Steve "Supe" White   Percussion,Drums
Paul John Weller   Guitar,Keyboards,Voices
Stands   Background Vocals
Louk Boudesteijn   Trombone,Horn
Frans Cornelissen   Tuba,Horn
Joeri DeVente   Horn,French Horn
Sarah Koch   Strings,Viola
Bill Nusinger   Mandolin
Petra Rosa   Harp

Technical Credits

Tim Hardin   Composer
Gordon Lightfoot   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Steve White   Audio Production
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Bernard Edwards   Composer
Nile Rodgers   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Benjamin Herman   Horn Arrangements
Gabriel Mekler   Composer
Paul Weller   Audio Production
Gil Scott-Heron   Composer
Allen Toussaint   Composer
Noel Gallagher   Composer
Nolan Porter   Composer
Lawrence Watson   Cover Photo,Inlay Photography
Billie Rae Calvin   Composer
Simon Halfon   Cover Design
Charles Rees   Engineer
Anne Knapstein   String Arrangements
Traditional   Composer
Williem Friede   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Bastiaan Van Der Werf   String Arrangements
Joeri Saal   Engineer
Steve "Supe" White   Producer
Paul John Weller   Arranger,Producer,Cover Design
Jan "Stan" Kybert   Producer,Audio Production

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