Paul Weller : Sonik Kicks
Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether Paul Weller really gives a flying fuck about anyone other than himself. Despite his genesis as a angry young mod, and evolution as a songwriter disposed to political tirades, Weller appears to have no loyalty to external constructions of himself, or his songwriting. That is to say, Paul Weller makes the music Paul Weller wants to make, and fuck you if you’re not interested.
It’s a personal inflection that sits in the background as Weller launches into the Krautrock-influenced Green, the opening track from Weller’s latest record, Sonik Kicks. It’s Weller like he’s rarely appeared previously; not long after, Kling I Klang presents an amphetamine take on similar historical cues, while later on the album Around the Lake uses Krautrock styling to offer a dark vision of the world around us.
Weller’s proven pop sensibility – as fresh as the day he first strode the streets of Woking – is there for the world to see in The Attic, the sunny California splendour of That Dangerous Age and even the blue-eyed Style Council soul of Study in Blue (featuring Weller’s latest wife Hannah).
And then there’s the more occasional idiosyncratic piece, like Sleep Of The Serene, a nebulous journey into ill-defined sonic pastures, the haunting Dragonfly, the meandering aural renderings of Twilight or even the Kinks-at-the-Gates-of-Dawn When Your Garden’s Overgrown. And as for the concluding track, Be Happy Children – featuring two of Weller’s children – it’s soppy, but presentable in the capable hands of the Modfather.
There are moments when Sonik Kicks appears as impenetrable as anything Weller has released in 20 years. And that’s probably just how the erstwhile Mr Weller wants it.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Green
If You Like This: You’ll appreciate Paul Weller for who he is, what he’s done and the fact that he’s apparently just bought a stack of Neu! records
In A Word: Weller