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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Older, wiser, mellower?
This has been going around my stereo for the last six weeks which means it can't be at all bad. Infact once you get past the cover, which I thought resembled the set off of Teletubbies, there's some good stuff here. Catchy tunes and introspective poetry in abundance.

Opener 'Light Nights' has that 'Wickerman' soundtrack feel to it and works well as an intro...
Published on 2 Sep 2008 by Dinga

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars ALL WELLER AND GOOD(ish)
Paul Weller seems to be back in favour after spending quite a few years being hailed as the nations leading perveyor of 'dad rock'. His last album was a distinct return to form, and, with the single 'From The Floorboards Up' he also scored a major top ten single.
22 Dreams is Weller's 'White Album'. A sprawling collection that visits many genre's - folk, rock, pop,...
Published on 29 Aug 2008 by Mr. Christopher J. Welch


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Older, wiser, mellower?, 2 Sep 2008
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
This has been going around my stereo for the last six weeks which means it can't be at all bad. Infact once you get past the cover, which I thought resembled the set off of Teletubbies, there's some good stuff here. Catchy tunes and introspective poetry in abundance.

Opener 'Light Nights' has that 'Wickerman' soundtrack feel to it and works well as an intro track, before '22 Dreams' kicks in like a brass heavy soultrain to throw you completely off the scent. Singles 'Have You Made Up Your Mind' and 'All I Wanna Do' are simply structured pop songs with those catchy little riffs that Weller and his band of choice always seem to capture so effortlessly. 'Push It Along' and 'Echoes Round The Sun' are soul/psych babies and it comes as little surprise that they have appeared on the single releases from the LP as extra tracks or B sides.

The other side of the sixpence includes the acoustic drenched 'Why Walk When You Can Run', the Style Councilesque 'Cold Moments' and the very esoteric poem 'God' (which features a slightly disturbing narration from guitarist Aziz Ibrahim who contributes to several tracks on the collection). Not everything here sticks in the head instantly but I think that is to be expected. After all, how much of the 'White Album' (to which this LP has been constantly compared to, albeit 'Weller's White Album') was considered to be garbage before the Beatles Renaissance declared everything touched by the hand of the Fab Four musically and artistically infallible? 22 Dreams, like The White Album, works because the tracks belong together on it, in it and around it and nowhere else.

This is a hotch potch of styles stuck together on an LP made by a man whose music has guided a million once angry young men into worldly and mellow middle age whilst picking up younger affiliates on the way. To me this sounds like the creation of someone enjoying their work and it does indeed for the most part...work! Give it a blast on it's own merit as opposed to judging it on what's been before. Shame to cut one's nose off to spite the face, wouldn't you say?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weller's Best!, 23 Jun 2008
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
It's been some time since I have put a new Weller album on my CD player and played it again and again - the last time was "Heavy Soul" and that was not as good as this new 22 Dreams delight!

I have got so used to being disappointed with new Weller albums - "As is Now" nearly restored my faith - although The Undertones are no doubt a bit peeved that "Come-on Let's Go" uses thier guitar riff from "Teenage Kicks" but then Weller always seems to get away with ripping off other's works and describing it as simply an "influence"!

Still this new one is quite superb! "Light Nights" is a good opener then we are hit with the incredible "22 Dreams" track - great Weller rockin' stuff! The wonderful - "All I wanna do (is be with you)" is a classic quality Weller track. "Have you made up your Mind?" is a real treat also. The tracks are excellent - with the odd instrumental - and I really like "Cold, cold, moments" a delightful echo from the best of The Style Council days. "Echos round the Sun", another rocker! "Empty Rings" reminds me of the lovely "Above the Clouds" track from my all time favourite Weller album - his first solo one! "Push it along" is Weller at his cool, hard best - The Jam cool dude sound that we all enjoyed so much.

Finally, "Sea Spray" is a light hearted ending which is a real catcher - though I do wonder whether it was "influenced" somewhat by the guitar riff from The Beatles' "Two of Us" from "Let it Be"? Anyway, this is a great album and at last something you can listen too as an antidote for all that shallow, schmoozy stuff that fills the music charts nowadays. Well done Mr Weller!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Like This One, 5 Jun 2008
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
I actually bought the Deluxe version, but as I haven't listened to the second CD, I've decided to review the single disc edition.

I can understand the disappointment some have voiced over the first new Paul Weller album in three years, 22 Dreams. You always get hype with Weller releases; reading Mojo a couple of months back you would have thought this album was on par with Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, Travelogue and other rock 'n' roll greats. Don't get me wrong it IS a little disappointing, but if it was perfect then Sir Paul would give up wouldn't he? And we wouldn't want that.

The range of musical styles on here is breathtaking; from ballads, full on rockers, garade/psych hybrids to mock-Italian restaurant background muzak.

The single, Have You Made Up Your Mind is great, especially the Phillyesque backing vocals in the chorus, strange as I remember reading a Weller interview where he called the Philly sound of the 70's "insipid" or something similar.

Other highlights are the Weller/Gallagher psych-monster, "Echoes Round The Sun". You may find it hard to believe that this is our Paul singing, but it is.

The title track is also a cracking tune, but I can't help singing "I had too much to dream last night", a classic from the Electric Prunes...just a coincidence, I'm sure.

Nice one, Paul.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 alternative ideas, 12 Jun 2008
By 
I. H. C. Mellor "mihcm" (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
Not maybe what we have come to expect from Paul Weller but maybe it is time he made an album that has so many diverse ideas and structures in it. Comparing this album to much of his early work it could almost be another artist performing here, but Paul has come up with what seems like a reinvention of himself. I imagine he has decided that the time has come to enjoy making an album of songs that allows him to try out a lot of new ideas along with the old ones and provide a selection of songs which show a wide variety of styles and sounds, from rock'n'roll to soul and ballad. A very enjoyable album to listen to and a good album to get if you have not been a Paul Weller fan up until now. Something for everyone I think.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weller breaks free & delivers the album he's threatened to make..., 4 Jun 2008
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
This album will alienate many fans who expect a Stanley Road or All Mod Cons, this is Weller doing what he should have done 3 albums ago.....which is indulge his own passions for the type of music he loves, and so here we have 22 dreams which skips 'literally' thru the seasons & along the way takes in inspirations from Mayfield,Mingus & Alice Coltrane not to mention forays into psychedelia & folk music aswell...I wont bore you with a run down on each track but would only add that nearly all songs on the album is something different from what you would expect of a more recent Weller outing & for a guy who's been around as long as he has this is a testament to his passion & a need to stay fresh when most if not all of his contemporaries have long faded away. Stand out tracks for me are Cold moments,All I wanna do,Push it Along,Have you made up your mind & Empty Ring.....the songs which will generally divide the few are obviously the instrumentals & I'm sure most people wouldn't enjoy sitting thru 111 on repeat!! But in the context of the album it does fit in & when 'Sea Spray' kicks in its all the more joyous & I can see the idea,the only let down for me is the spoken word track 'God' which I just don't get & should have been left as a scrap book poem....but for an album of 21 songs this is forgiven, in an age when `indie guitar rock' can irritate and bore even the most patient listener Weller is a breath of fresh air, as with All Mod Cons,Confessions of a Pop Group & Wildwood this album is another landmark in an amazing career.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's life in the old Mod yet, 4 Jun 2008
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
I was too young to have been into The Jam but I was old enough to know that I didn't really like The Style Council so it was Paul Weller's solo work that initially caught my attention. The first two albums anyway. Then it all went a bit dad-rock and he kind of fell off the map for me. The last thing anyone was expecting was his latest album, an eclectic, creative and dare we say it, exciting opus with over 2o tracks.

The title track is a stomping number with blasting horns and bags of energy, not what one might expect from a man who recently turned 50. It's a good example of the vigour of proceedings which makes this album so impressive. Push It Along is another track bursting at the seams with organs and 'ooh-ah' backing vocals which sound like King Louis' cohorts from the Jungle Book have invaded the studio. Which isn't to say that there isn't plenty of what you might expect from the man they call the Modfather but it's all augmented by some interesting musical choices and the kind of wilful disregard for what people think which can produce really exciting results.

It's not always successful; Lullaby Fur Kinder sounds worryingly like hotel lobby music, the spoken piece God is a bit like being harassed by one of those evangelists on the tube and the instrumental (if that's the word for it) 111 is a little indulgent, but these are small prices to pay to get an album that includes influences from South American tango to English folk.

Sometimes it all comes together. Empty Ring sounds like Weller is being accompanied by The Avalanches whose cut-up all-sample Since I Left You was such an amazing album. Black River has a cheeky-chappy appeal. And Echoes Round The Sun is a reverb heavy number with film score strings that lend it bite rather than making it sound pretty. But there are equally impressive songs like Invisible and Why Walk When You Can Run which, with simple accompaniment, hit the right note by leaving Weller's matured voice to do the work.

I didn't think I'd find myself buying another Paul Weller album but if you've ever had a liking for his work I suggest you do just that. There's life in the old Mod yet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, 16 Jun 2008
By 
E. Cameron (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
Great album. Only 2 stinkers on it (for me), otherwise I'd have given it a 5. I reckoned those were God and 111 - but maybe I'm just not creative enough to 'get' them.

Given he was happy to collaborate with Ross Geller on 111, I wonder if the Modfather will now be reconsidering his famously terse rejection of the duet with James Blunt?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to his best, 12 Jun 2008
By 
M. Shiel Dods "mshieldods" (North Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
Anyone with an eye on the music press will have seen the gushing reviews for 22 Dreams. Once an act reaches a certain level every new release is lauded as a return to form (Morrissey, Bowie....) and inevitably the reality is more than a little disappointing. So I approached the new Weller with a sceptical ear, his recent releases have had their moments but for someone brought up on the Jam and the Style Council they've been underwhelming for the most part.

I'm glad to say though that 22 Dreams isn't just a return to form, it's a return to the fire, passion and adventure which inspired his best work. This is really a companion piece to Sound Effects, Cafe Blue or Wild Wood in that it shows a spirit of open minded inquiry which has been sadly lacking from his recent work. It helps too that his voice is as good as it's ever been too.

If you've no interest in exploring the byways of popular music such as krautrock, folk or free jazz with Weller then you'd better stick to the tried and trusted britrock he's been peddling since Stanley Road. If you're at all curious in seeing where Weller's going then jump right in, it's an exhilarating and moving experience.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars summer dreaming, 10 July 2008
By 
R. Thomas "rickmt" (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
22 Dreams
This CD sums up the influences of Mr Weller, there is soul, jazz, folk and biting lyrics. This is a grand album, taking the listener on a magical tour of England, and all it offers, the songs roll into each other like chapters in a book, everyone will have a favourite, mine being "empty ring" a powerful song with sad lyrics set against an upbeat Curtis Mayfield style beat, this set is Weller at his best, taking chances and playing it like it matters, buy and play this with the knowledge that you will return to it time after time.

peace
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a flavour for everyone, 29 Sep 2008
This review is from: 22 Dreams (Audio CD)
This has been variously described by others as a concept album, theatrical, self-indulgent and rubbish. I don't agree with any of those descriptions (and certainly not the last one!).

While I don't like every track on this album, there are more than enough great songs for anyone. I can understand that it's not everyone's bag, but let's face it, PW can't just keep on recording new versions of the changing man and peacock suit! We went to Paul's Bristol gig earlier this year where we heard lots of these for the first time. Sometimes difficult to hear a song for the first time, but you could still tell they were quality!

Have you made up your mind? is, for my money, an absolute classic, and one of the stand-out tracks on the album. But sea spray is my personal favourite. It reminds me of when I moved back home to the seaside and always brings a tear to me old eye! For that alone, thanks Paul. See you in November!
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22 Dreams
22 Dreams by Paul Weller (Audio CD - 2008)
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