Paul Weller | True Meanings

8/10 acoustic Jam.

It’s been over twenty-five years since the ex-Jam and Style council ‘Modfather’ sat down with an acoustic guitar and knocked out the beautifully rustic “Wild Wood”. An incredible twelve albums of indie, dub, spiky pop and outright weird experimentalism later and Paul Weller is apparently once again ready to revisit those same bucolic themes of love, loss and straight-up songwriting that characterized his acclaimed sophomore LP.
The fourteenth studio album from Woking’s favourite curmudgeon is a gently introspective set of songs – largely just Weller and his guitar – picking and strumming quietly over softly tapped drums and lush orchestration.
Similar as “True Meanings” is to “Wild Wood”, the album does come as a surprise given his recent output, particularly the punky “Sonik Kicks” and frenzied “Saturn’s Pattern” (both excellent listening BTW). Weller sings with a newfound delicacy and gracefulness that recalls early Cat Stevens and James Taylor – his voice has mellowed nicely as he enters his 60th year. Glide is an aptly named meander with hints of English Folk, while the gorgeous Mayfly feels effortless – a definite high point.
A smattering of guests (Lucy Rose, Noel Gallagher, Martin Carthy) lend their lyrical and songwriting chops to round out an album that just goes to show Weller has more tricks up his sleeve than most out there. Simply wonderful.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:

The Takeoff and Landing of Everything
More lyrical loveliness from Bury quintet.

Nick Drake Pink Moon
Tragic English Folkie delivers acoustic blueprint.

Ethan Johns Silver Liner
Producer-turns-troubadour on country/folk experiment.

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