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Not that there isn't time for rocking out. There's No Drinking After You're Dead leaps out of the speakers like nothing heard from Paul in the last twenty years. He's The Keeper is a tad slower, but never fails to grab the attention, and is well worth checking out live.
TSC rear their head in the beligerent shanty A Whale's Tale, which while upbeat is probably the weakest song on the album. With some fans this competes with Sweet Pea, his ode to his daughter Leah. You either love or hate it. It's quite a nice jaunty little tune, and pleasant enough, but was a mistake as a single. Back in the fire almost goes back to Wild Wood, dreamy and surreal, with almost a touch of hip hop in the production technique. Picking Up Sticks is a great piece of psychadelia, addictive and interspersed with what is more a drum break, than a solo, it benefits from shifting up a gear into a funked up jam at the end.
The real strengths lie in the ballads though. Frightened shows the vulnerable Paul in a way he's not shown before, and it's charming. Dust and Rocks is a high spot, tender and warm, it also boasts what is perhaps the finest outro of Weller's career. With Time and Temperance shows the Nick Drake influence to the full, while exploring the marriage break up yet again. Then there's Loveless.Read more ›