Paul Weller

22 Dreams

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.

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