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on 19 October 2017
A double album. The bloke who did the cover also painted Kevin Ayers' last album 'Unfairground'. This is meandering and experimental in places. Artist at work exploring the range from his palette. And what a tremendous collection this is. Soft Machine in places.
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on 17 October 2017
Great songs and great artist's what more can you say.
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on 18 October 2014
Some Weller fans simply don't appreciate a true artist when they hear one. When I read critical comments akin to 'why move away from a FORMULA that works' then it is clear that listeners are not interested in anything approaching musical gourmet; they are more interested in predictable musical Big Macs. No good artist worth their salt is going to be content with trotting out a fomulaic approach to their offerings, no matter how successful it has been. Artists want to push the boundaries, experiment and see what they can come up with. Of course, some tracks will be disappointing, but others will be a fantastic revelation. This is an ambitious project and one very worthy of a few listens before you can fully appreciate it. Personally, I think that this album represents Weller at his best and I love all of Weller's solo works.
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on 7 July 2008
Decided to listen to this a number of times before reviewing as it was so unlike any other Paul Weller album I've heard before. The conclusion is that 22 Dreams is a diverse collection of songs that has something for everyone but I would be amazed if anyone could hold up their hand and say they loved every track. I do have to use the skip button in the car on a few tracks but it's fair to say that the songs that do hit the spot are classics - songs like Have You Made up Your Minds, Invisible and Sea Spray. Not just another album from Mr Weller but a brave and talented affair that challenges the musical senses.
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on 4 June 2008
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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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?
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VINE VOICEon 12 June 2008
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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on 12 June 2008
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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on 1 July 2008
This is not his best, but it's not as bad as some make out.There are a couple of tracks, God being the main one , that I just don't get.However in 21 tracks there will be a couple of mis hits.I saw the tour for this album and to be frank, it sounded much better live.Enjoyable, but far from his best
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on 10 July 2008
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.

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