You may recall in late June the stunning announcement of the coming of a new Paul Weller album, 22 Dreams. As planned, the album hit on July 22, and I was all over it! How could I not have been primed for this release after the press release announced this momentous occasion?
”After As Is Now I thought the time was right to make the sort of record I wanted to make,” says Paul Weller of the creative process which led to his striking ninth solo album 22 Dreams. ”Instead of worrying about anyone else, I wanted to really push the boat out. I think the result is going to surprise a few people.” Surprises have always been part of the artistic vernacular for the man who changed rock forever with The Jam, explored a host of eclectic influences with The Style Council and cemented his position as the patriarch of Brit pop with his legendary solo work. 22 Dreams is the latest chapter in a creative journey spanning 30 years, with material spanning the full breadth of popular music rock to classical, avant garde to funk and spoken word to experimental. In addition to a cast of Weller s frequent collaborators including Steve Cradock and producer Simon Dine, 22 Dreams also features some of the largest beneficiaries of Weller’s incalculable musical influence. Noel Gallagher and Gem from Oasis lend their talents to “Echoes Around the Sun”, a writing collaboration between Weller and Gallagher. Ex-Blur guitarist Graham Coxon appears on “Black River”. The spirit of collaboration and an in-the-moment creative approach have resulted in one of Weller s most spirited works and one that is sure to expand the artistic canon of the one and only Modfather.
To give Weller’s dream album adequate time for digestion, I’ve waited until now to share my thoughts. I’ll share a few other tracks from this album as you read along, but first, why don’t you listen to the lead-off track, “Light Nights”?
Paul Weller, “Light Nights”
I think you will agree this is the way Weller would want you to begin thinking about his new album.