Hey, what happens?? 52 years old, the good Weller is more priapic than ever. He has a huge hard on and he's very angry. you can't say the same thing about the 77 class. Rotten is now a pathetic puppet... Mick Jones is a nice guy, teaming up with an ex Generation X to do some retro punk... The others? Which ones? Billy Idol and his dreadlocks, Siouxsie who lives now in a farm near the french town of Bordeaux, those who never splitted up (Buzzcocks, Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, etc...) keeping on playing on punk cabaret circuit for nostalgic seniors. Weller has the most brilliant route: his first band suicided when he was at the top after five years, a missed but brave neo-modernist attempt and then an incredible and unexpected rebirth. It's so strange to report than his two most sold solo albums are also the more ordinaries.
Actually the best Weller since the Jam Broke up has been recorded these last ten years, Heliocentric, As is now or the awesome double album (in the old meaning of the word), 22 dreams, psychedelic, jazz and pastoral, released in 2008. Weller, for a while, decided to not repeat himself. By the way, we've recently learnt some interesting things about himself: considered as an old mod completely stuck in his soul and Small Faces' influences, the godfather of the awful dadrock retro-reactionary, the man admits he discovered Bowie's "Low" and "Diamond dogs". He also admitted he loved in their time Wire and Gang of four, repeating as well his love for the rough sound of the first Dr. Feelgood's LPs. Notable influence on his five years old single "From the Floorboards up" from As is now when he played like Wilko Johnson himself with an stunning vitality... He wishes, today, break with the pastoral folky aspect of 22 dreams et releases an urban record, metallic and angular. Two years later, here is he again with one of the most nervous attempt of his career. Most of the songs are shorter than 3 minutes pieces. The voice is amazing. Simon Dine's production (Noonday underground and his underrated and unknown masterpiece "Surface noise") is ideal and audacious. The guests are unexpected, Kevin Shields from my Bloody Valentine and of course Bruce Foxton, for two songs who's gonna make cry all the Sound Affects, All mod cons and Setting sons old fans. At last, the songs, Weller is younger than the youngest, revisiting the past, curious about everything, attacking soul, No tears left to cry, stunning, post punk with Fast Car, the hollow ballad, Andromeda, modern hymn, Find the torch burn the plans, and several experiences, from the Walker brothers to what Primal Scream never succeeded to catch. You can feel, to tell the truth, all the man's influences, and we really wonder how this 50 something man can renew himself for thirty years now... A true report if you think to all the Jam's Lps, all different, Like Style Council's ones, not in so happy way but all braves. He started like an angry young man mocking the Who's unability to move on and actually, he will have lasted far longer than them in a very more fascinating way! If they all could get older this way, life would be fantastic!