22 Dreams finds Paul Weller at the zenith of his creativity, re-examining the changing man’s ever changing moods. Of course, elements from his Jam and Style Council incarnations resurface. However, Dreams is ultimately a richly eclectic concept album loosely based on the changing of the seasons. Meant to be listened to in one sitting, it flows-dabbling in folk, tropicalia, Krautrock, spoken word, psych-rock, and soul-into a post-modern White Album, exploring some of the best music genres/artists’ legacies of the 20th Century. “Echoes Around the Sun,” cowritten by Noel Gallagher, is the obvious hit. “Black River” recalls early Bowie, while “Song for Alice” is a tribute to the late Alice Coltrane. The ghosts of Steve Marriott, Nick Drake, Clause Debussy, and Eric Satie haunt the undertaking in a mostly positive way. But there are some misfires-like the spoken-word cheesiness of “God.” Still, John Lennon once challenged us to imagine, and Paul Weller has done so, coming up with an admirable album in the process.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
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