“As Is Now” is something like a statement of how the things are going to be done by Paul Weller. The future seems to be good, The Modfather and his band (White, Minchella and Cradock) returns with this album. It has the classic Weller style, but it sounds fresh. Again, Jan “Stan” Kybert is the producer, so from that point of view this album is very linked to “Illumination” (2003). But the reminiscences of “Wild Wood” or “Stanley Road” and the earlier Weller are present. The first two singles “From The Floor Boards Up” and “Come On/Let’s Go” are really good. “From The Floor...” reminds me of “Vertigo” by U2...that kind of song is this one!, 2 minutes and 27 seconds of frantic rock and roll!. When U2 released that song many people said that the band returned to their “Boy” (1980) days, well...as someone said here too, Weller returned in some way to his days with The Jam. But since the very start the album catches you. “Blink And You’ll Miss It” opens with a classic riff by Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene) who has been playing with Weller for more than 10 years and has reached his maturity as a lead guitarist. “Paper Smile” is a song that could’ve been included in “Stanley Road” (1995), very similar to the self titled song on that album. “Savages” takes some of those days too, it’s one of the highlights on “As Is Now”, as a fact, it could be a single with no doubt. Another good song is “Here’s The Good News”. A pop song with Weller on the piano and some horns behind; the Small Faces and the Beatles influences are there. In the same line is “I Wanna Make It Alright”. “Fly Little Bird” is an acoustic track with touches of Neil Young but it could have been arranged by McCartney too. “All On A Misty Morning” is one of my favourites from this record. It starts with an acoustic guitar, almost a spanish one and unleashes a very rhythmic song with an easy to remind chorus. “Bring Back The Funk” is the funky (Obviously!) song from the album. The whole band pays a homage to the sound developed by some artists like Nile Rodgers (Chic) in the 70’s. In general, it’s a great collection of songs. I think this album is better than “Heliocentric”, “Illumination”...even better than “Heavy Soul”...maybe I’m wrong, but I found this one a great buying. It didn’t disappoint me. We have Paul Weller for the future!
To be honest, when I received this CD as a Christmas present last year, I wasn't really expecting very much. Without being a huge fan, I've followed Weller's career on and off ever since the early days of the Jam and bought the odd single along the way. Admittedly 'Wild Wood' (1994) and 'Stanley Road' were both good albums, but with subsequent releases slightly disappointing and Weller pushing 50, my expectations were not that high. .....Wrong...... This album is an absolute corker. I'm really impressed. From the frantic bluesy chords of the opening track this album hardly misses a beat. I am absolutely gobsmacked just how good it is. It easily stands shoulder to shoulder with 'Wild Wood' and 'Stanley Road' and is possibly better than both! Only on two or three tracks does the intensity of Weller's compositional style and delivery produce slightly over-wrought songs ('Fly little bird', 'Pan' and 'The Pebble and the Boy') but for the most part the album is loose, energetic and choc-full of great songs, dashed off in an effortless variety of styles......in short it's an absolute joy. If you like Weller and you haven't already purchased this album, what on earth are you waiting for??
I had heard the singles from this album (Floorboards up/ Come on let's go) and I sensed from this that the rest of the album would be quite special. Fortunately this has been proven to be the case. The first three songs are jammin' good tunes, then things change with Here's the Good News. An excellent R&B number which could have been written by the late great Ronnie Lane himself. Things progress down-tempo on the next couple of numbers, then move swiftly on to the excellent All On A Misty Morning, which had been played on Paul's last UK tour. From the Floorboards up kick-starts the higher tempo again, before the album twists into a jazzy tune on the next track. The album progresses with further twists in musical directions. Bring Back the Funk is an awesome tune which displays Weller's diversity, and ability to perform, not just the standard rock tunes that so many of his fans crave, but other musical genres. The final track finishes the album off beautifully. This album is truly brilliant, excellent, Weller is back!
This album rocks! I had my doubt as I was not happy with "Studio 150" and to a lesser extent, with "Illumination". I kept thinking: where's the edge? What's with songs such as "Sweet Pea"? Of all the Paul Weller albums I have all the years these two unfotunately became fillers on the CD rack. I even deleted them from my ipod library as they are kind of a waste of space, literally. I was truly sadden as Paul's music has been a very important part of my life and I was so worried that maybe his fire had gone out. Well. Worry no more. This album blows me away! Right from the start it is so gripping you can feel the energy oozing out- as good as the live version of "the Changingman" - that's how intense the sound is. I can't really tell you which song I like best from the album becasue they are all truly outstanding. I get really excited when I hear good music and this album a lot more than that. It is orgasmic. For those of you who have doubt like I had, give it a chance and you will be delighted. I promise. It doesn't get any better than this. Paul is god.