Paul Weller’s "22 Dreams" Review From The Washington Post!

PAUL WELLER “22 Dreams” Yep Roc/Island
Friday, September 12, 200

PAUL WELLER turned 50 in May, and he celebrated by finishing up his equivalent of the Beatles’ “White Album,” a sprawling, 21-track montage of every style the British rock icon has ever employed, including the punk basics of his first band, the Jam, the retro-soul of his second band, the Style Council, and the folk rock, pop rock and psychedelic rock of his solo years. The new album, “22 Dreams,” even includes styles never before associated with Weller: spoken-word poetry, avant-garde space rock, electronica, chamber music and glosses on Elton John and David Bowie. It’s as if Weller wanted to revisit not only everything he’d ever done but also everything he hadn’t gotten around to yet.

The first single, the noisy psychedelic anthem “Echoes Round the Sun,” is a songwriting and recording collaboration with Oasis’s Noel Gallagher. But in this era of downloaded individual tracks, “22 Dreams” stubbornly insists on being heard as a total album. It begins with the dawning acoustic instruments of “Light Nights” and ends with the crashing rain and thunder of “Night Lights.” The CD booklet includes a prose fantasia by British poet Simon Armitage that purports to tie the 21 tunes together into a dream journey.

As one rides through this wildly varied sound scape — the horn-backed R&B of the title track, the catchy pop of “All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)” and the piano balladry of “Invisible,” the funk-groove instrumental in tribute to jazz legend Alice Coltrane — it’s clear that Weller’s melodic craft and strong personality is behind every bit of music. Some numbers work better than others, but like Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Weller keeps reaching for new sounds and new challenges, and more often than not, he is grabbing hold of them.

— Geoffrey Himes (The Washington Post)

Appearing Saturday with the Rifles at the 9:30 club (202-265-0930,http://www.930.com). Doors open at 8 p.m.

1 comment

  1. I didn’t know where else to put this, but here is the set list for his show 9/13/08 at the 9:30 Club. I was lucky enough to be standing near the soundboard at the end of the show and one of his wonderful road crew members gave it to me! Anyway, enjoy:1. Out of the Sinking2. Peacock Suit3. 22 Dreams4. All I Wanna Do Is5. From the Floorboards Up6. Sea Spray7. Shout To The Top8. Wild Blue Yonder9. Empty Ring10. Invisible11. Have You Made Up Your Mind12. Porcelain Gods13. Picking Up Sticks14. Wishing On A Star/Broken15. Butterfly Collector16. Light Nights17. All on a Misty Morning18. Wild Wood19. Echoes Round The Sun20. Come On/Let’s Go21. That’s Entertainment22. The Changingman23. A Town Called Malice24. All You Need Is LoveThis is how it is written on the setlist, however there were some diversions/additions to this list…such as the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Roger and a couple of medleys/breaks that were unexpected and not written on the list (and since this was my first time seeing the Modfather, I paid attention to the music and wasn’t writing things down. Very good show and I wish we got the chance to see more of him in the states!


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