Dig The Rare Breed!

Man, I want this guy to put out an album that I can call “The Best Album Of Year” so bad I can taste it! I’ve followed Weller’s career since The Jam’s The Gift and have bought pretty much everything, and enjoyed pretty much everything, he’s released since. After about 10 full listens of Sonik Kicks I can unequivocally say…”maybe”. There’s an awful lot of really great music already released this year, and more is coming.

Allmusic states: “(Sonik Kicks) is a record that buzzes with ideas, it’s giddy with the noise it makes, and once its initial rush fades away, it still has plenty to offer in substantive songs and sheer sonic pleasure.”

I mean, I really, really like it. Truly. But then again, I really, really liked 2010’s Wake Up The Nation. Weller is one of those cats that is able to remain relevant long after he has any right to be. After the Style Council everyone…and I mean everyone…wrote this guy off. Lifting two fingers in everyone’s general direction he regrouped and released a series of fantastic solo albums that folks are still talking about today. Some were more successful than others, granted, and by 2006 people were starting to wonder if he was getting a little too comfortable and complacent.

Not to worry, this is Paul Weller we’re talking about here. When things start to smell a little rank he pulls out the Fabreeze and makes everything old seem new again. That’s just what he did with 22 Dreams and Wake Up The Nation, and was rewarded with critical praise up the yazoo.

And that’s just what he’s done with this one. A little Krautrock, a little Bowie, a little Jam, a little Style Council, a little Traffic, but 100% Paul Weller. It’s like the dude’s got something to prove, which he obviously doesn’t. If this doesn’t end up as my #1 pick of the year I can assure you it’ll be in the top 5, more likely top 3. A far above average effort.