Wake Up The Nation by Paul Weller – Album Review
by Matt Callard
Commercially rehabilitated and now, following the sprawling 22 Dreams, back in favour with the critics.
Not that Weller himself would care either way. He’s always been a contrary soul, ploughing his own private furrow and often at his best when his back’s against the wall.
So Wake Up The Nation notches up the intensity, rounds up the collaborators (My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, ELO’s Bev Bevan and, remarkably, ex-Jam bassist Bruce Foxton) and snips away any indulgences.
“Even time for a dose of sentimentality”
This is short, fiery stuff, which insists on repeat plays – not that it’s all back-to-basics punk ‘n’ roll, there are samples and strings and some impressive improv – and there’s enough hooks to hang a horse.
There’s even time for a dose of sentimentality (never a Weller-watchword) in the lovely ‘No Tears Left To Cry’.
A victory for a reignited muse.