Wake Up The NationAlbum |
This is one daft record.
22 Dreams was Paul Weller's most expansive effort to date, but even it doesn’t prepare you for the combination carousel ride/demolition derby that is Wake Up The Nation. While the former injected touches of jazz, psychedelia, and ambient music into the proceedings without tearing the basic fabric of Weller’s usual approach, this one makes jarring, abrupt shifts from one style to another, often within the same song. That’s not to say that the old Weller sound isn’t present here; there are plenty of songs whose basic sonic premise would have fit on any other Weller release, but most of them are gleefully subverted by musical left turns obviously meant to shake both Weller and his audience out of their complacency. Whether that actually makes for an effective piece of work depends on how willing you are to have your standard-fare Weller pop/soul/rock amalgam upended by sudden insertions of avant-garde electronic weirdness, cosmic art rock, and whatever else was lurking in the studio cupboards. A couple of tracks find Weller working with bassist Bruce Foxton again for the first time since The Jam, which would have been big news if it weren’t obscured by Wake Up The Nation’s dizzying multi-directional modus operandi.