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Beware this album includes half-songs....
on 25 August 2006
Following on from the heady success of "Stanley Road", this album struck something of a sour note.
From the muddy opening chords of the title track to the heady rush of "Brushed", the well-rounded quality of "Stanley Road" seemed to be broken off leaving rougher edges.
The opening four tunes are of sound quality. "Up In Suze's Room" bringing a summery breeze to the heavier songs either side of it.
Where it starts to fall apart is on tracks like "Driving Nowhere" and "Golden Sands" - barely B-sides. Quality control issues or writer's block seemed to be an issue here for a songwriter of such stature to include these half-songs on an album. The same is true of "As You Lean Into The Light" which has potential to travel then grinds to a halt.
More impressive is the sharp "Science" and charming "Mermaids."
The smoky, apologetic ballad - "I Should Have Been There To Inspire You" - is an overlooked classic.
The sound is at time abrasive and a little discordant. There are some nuggets of tracks on here but as an album there's a handful of songs on here that don't cut the mustard and for an artist of Paul Weller's talent and stature it's reasonable to expect more.