Paul Weller: Saturns Pattern (Warner Bros.) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Paul Weller

Saturns Pattern

Warner Bros.

Jun 24, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

It is easy to think that Paul Weller gets a harsh deal from music critics. After all, he’s one of British music’s touchstones; from his revolutionary and genuinely original work with The Jam, via the enjoyable, breezy pop of The Style Council through to his solo career, which produced Stanley Road and Wild Wood—two of the more passable albums of the Britpop fad of the ‘90s. His solid songwriting has also tended to be backed by some seriously underrated musicianswhether they be Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton, or even the Steves White and Cradock (yes, the guitarist out of Ocean Colour Scene).

Time to redress the balance then. Saturns Pattern, Weller’s 12th solo album, has garnered praise for its new direction. There’s a raw energy, big, booming production, and a clear love of blues licks and gospel vocals here and, true, it’s not quite like anything in the guy’s oeuvre to date. The thing is, The Stereophonicsa band who might as well be Weller’s kidsmade this exact same album in 2003. It was called You Gotta Go There to Come Back and it’s absolutely no one’s favourite ‘Phonics album… which says more than it should.

Saturns Pattern opens with “White Sky,” all roaring fucked up riffs and treated vocals, but to pretend it isn’t “Madame Helga” is to delude oneself. “Long Time” has some squeaky guitar overdubs that sound a bit like record scratches, and that’s pretty cool, but with its handclaps, pub rock vocal harmonies, and chugging distorted guitar it’s just “High as the Ceiling.” Look, I don’t blame you for having to go back to You Gotta Go There to Come Back to get these references, but, again, that’s kinda the point.

You have to give Weller credit for his energy and his freshness, and it’s true that this doesn’t sound quite like anything he’s ever done before. But then he hasn’t made a good album in 20 years, and in that time plenty of mediocre bands have already churned this record out. Also, I’m knocking half a point off for that missing apostrophe. (

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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