Our verdict on Weller's new album for 2012 Terry Staunton, Thu 2 Feb 2012. Music Radar.
The music he made with The Jam some 30 years ago is enough for Paul Weller to have earned his place in the history books, an impressive enough body of work for fans to overlook the occasional missteps that followed.
The Style Council weren't everyone's cup of tea, but still produced some powerful and vital work, especially the album Our Favourite Shop. Weller's second rebirth, as a solo artist, started well, the albums Wild Wood and Stanley Road both musically eloquent and lyrically articulate statements, the man himself growing up at the same pace as his original new wave audience.
A patchy period followed, but he was back on track with 2008's 22 Dreams and 2010's award-winning Wake Up The Nation, a genuinely reinvigorated writer and performer with little to prove but a lot more still to say. Subsequently, Weller's new album has been eagerly awaited; would be able to sustain such an astonishing level of quality? Would he be content just to rest on his laurels?This is Paul Weller, though, one of the most passionate artists of his generation, and Sonik Kicks finds him refusing to sit still. Laurel-resting is not on the agenda.