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on 7 November 2002
After Paul's patchy last 2 albums, namely 1997's soulless "Heavy Soul" and 2000's moody 'Heliocentric,' I was expecting more of the same with 'Illumination' just being another flashy title to sell another run of the mill album. Fortunately, I have been spectacularly proved wrong. Maybe all his touring since after the 'Heliocentric' album has brought back his inspiration. The first thing the listener notices is the improved production. Brendan Lynch has been dropped and although his production was amazing on 'Wild Wood' and 'Stanley Road' it soon became repetitive and unfocused on 'Heavy Soul' and 'Heliocentric.' Paul has produced himself with some help on some tracks from Simon Dine. The instruments are all beautifully clear and this allows the melody to shine in each song. There are 13 tracks and each deserves its place on the album. The opener, 'Going Places', is one of a number of acoustic delights. Other acoustic type songs include the lush 'Leafy Mysteries,' 'Who Brings Joy,' 'All Good Books' and the closer 'Illumination.' They are all as good as anything on Wild Wood. This album also has a better balance then the previous two as there are some rockers as well such as 'A Bullet For Everyone' and 'Call Me No.5.' 'It's Written in the Stars' is clearly Paul's best single since 1996's Peacock Suit. 'Now the Night is Here' and 'Standing Out in the Universe' are also spectacular songs. The main thing with this album though is that it as many have already stated the title does ring true. It is Paul's happiest album and so much better then the previous two which were the work of an unhappy, moody man entering his 40s. It is definitely already on par with Stanley Road and only time will tell if it is his best album but it certainly could be even better than Wild Wood due to it's superb songwriting and warm atmosphere. Do buy it it is one of the best albums of the year and it will "illuminate" those dark autumn and winter evenings.
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on 9 August 2015
Maybe Weller's best solo album. I love him from Style Council (not much his Car's discography, which I find too basic) and here you can find some of that atmosphere and nice tunes and melodies. Subtly melancolic and nostalgic, soft and somehow experimental, it's a very good mix of genres and flavors. I love Written in Stars, All Good Books, Standing in the Universe.
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on 21 April 2003
After having much fun getting comfortable with his back catalogue (after years of Jam denial!) on the solo acoustic tour, Paul Weller gets down to business. Illumination is a thoughtfully crafted piece of work, with many textures. Quite an upbeat slant runs through - check out the confident march of 'Going Places', Jericho trumpets on 'It's Written In The Stars', the dedication to his child 'Who Brings Joy' that means it while managing not to be a mawkish filler, etc. A good mix of rockers (A Bullet for Everyone', 'Call Me No. 5') and balladry (Leafy Mysteries, One X One, Bagman), nodding back to the Wildwood days but not retreading material in a redundant way.
Weller is good value for B-sides. The import version throws in two rockers, 'Horseshoe Drama' and 'Talisman', for good value.
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on 9 January 2018
Great artist
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on 12 February 2017
Well received
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on 9 November 2016
Delighted with my purchase.
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on 8 June 2015
Bought as a gift and know he will love it
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on 11 February 2017
Excellent
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on 31 January 2015
great
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Love this album, must have for Paul weller fan
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