By Jemiah Jefferson
This is Paul Weller’s eleventh solo album and “The Modfather” shows no signs of becoming complacent, stymied, or anything less than a phenomenal songwriter and musician. Sonik Kicks contains almost too much variety in style and approach, and while it doesn’t necessarily smoothly flow from track to track, there is excellence aplenty to admire.
Hitting the ground running with the punchy psych-rock electronica of album opener “Green,” the album has melancholy string sections, folky introspection, early-Pink Floyd Moogy noodlings, and much confident attitude.
There’s something here to float any British music lover’s boat, whether the preference is for the Can-meets-Nick Cave “Kling I Klang” and the gorgeously dubby “Study in Blue” and even a touch of baggy in “That Dangerous Age.” Guest stars Noel Gallagher and Graham Coxon do well to keep to the back and let the grownups talk.
Things sag a little towards the end of the album with the initially listless “Paper Chase” but Weller pulls it out of the fire once more with a phenomenal slice of old-school soul in “Be Happy Children,” fulfilling his indefatigable dream to make music as emotionally beautiful as anything by Little Anthony and the Imperials. This is a good’un.
Sonik Kicks is out March 27th on Yep Roc Records. The album is available on iTunes and Amazon.co.uk. Paul Weller will be performing in New York on May 18 and 19 and in Toronto on May 21.For a full list of tour dates, please visit the Official Paul Weller website.
Click here to watch a video of Paul Weller discussing the album.