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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Older, wiser, mellower?
on 2 September 2008
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?