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To put it simply, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album, the twenty
sixth studio album of his entire career, is a record unlike any he
has ever made before. It is not “a departure”, in the sense that soul
baring, melancholic songs have always been an important part
of what he does: from ‘English Rose', to ‘Brand New Start', right
up to ‘The Ballad Of Jimmy McCabe' from last year's ‘Jawbone'
soundtrack. But never, ever before has he allowed himself an entire
album to exhibit this side of his songwriting, or presented them
quite like this.
‘On the 25th May this year, Paul Weller turned 60: a milestone that
has unquestionably had an impact on the feel, both lyrically and
musically, of ‘True Meanings'. It is, he admits, a reflective album
(“I allowed myself, with my impending sixtieth, to be reflective,”
he says, “though I ain't going to stay there too long with that!”).
It is littered with lines about life, mortality, religion (‘Books', on
the latter, is a definite highlight), fatherhood, friendship, love and
happiness: the sound of a man entirely comfortable and contented
with where he is at six decades into his journey.
Perhaps most surprisingly of all, especially given how personal and
introspective ‘True Meanings' feels, lyrics for four of the fourteen
songs here were written, to Weller's melodies, by others. Connor
O'Brien from Villagers came up with the words to opener ‘The Soul
Searchers', while ‘Bowie', ‘Wishing Well' and the closing ‘White
Horses' are all the work, lyrically, of Erland Cooper from Erland &
The Carnival. “Even in the writing, I get bored with my own sort of
vocabulary after a while, you know?” Weller says of the process.
“So I just wanted to give these songs out to some other people that
I admire, and that I've wanted to work with. And I loved hearing
what they came back with.”
For now, though, we have ‘True Meanings': a beautiful, unique
Paul Weller album, and a beautiful, unique Paul Weller album that
is as good - as great - as any he has ever made.1. The Soul Searchers 2. Glide 3. Mayfly 4. Gravity 5. Old Castles
6. What Would He Say? 7. Aspects 8. Bowie 9. Wishing Well
10. Come Along 11. Books 12. Movin On 13. May Love Travel
With You 14. White Horses

  • Rock/Pop

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