I bought my first Jam single in 1978 and stuck by PW and his music up to the splendid "Into Tomorrow" single way back when. However, I then became disillusioned and admit that I turned into one of the dreaded "his solo stuff isn't as good as The Jam/Style Council" nightmares. That statement was spoken parrot fashion to anyone who mentioned the two words PAUL and WELLER to me in the same sentence. My argument always came unstuck however, if anyone DARED to ask me if I'd actually listened to anyone his solo material...of course we know the answer to that one, don't we?!
Last Summer I was listening yet again to "Our Favourite Shop" and I went through one of those periods where - and men will understand this - you suddenly for no apparent reason become obsessed with a particular artist again; I played the Council and The Jam constantly, read as much material as I could on Weller and generally annoyed my wife for a couple of months. It was after she said that she'd divorce me if she ever heard "The Dreams Of Children" again that I thought, well, maybe now that I'm a mature, easy kind of guy in his early 40's, I should really give Weller's solo stuff a go, so I did. I started with this album, "Wild Wood". I never looked back.
Why on earth didn't I buy this stuff years ago? "Wild Wood" is a joy, beautiful songs beautifully played. "Sunflower" kicks the whole album off and right-away I recognised the guitar refrain. There were others I'd heard before, "The Weaver", for example, so not everything was new to me. "Wild Wood" is acoustic; is laid-back; is understated; is perfect for Summer. It's just a shame that I took 15 years to realise.
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