12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
Maybe Weller giving up the booze was a good thing judging by this suprisingly original and unorthodox new Paul Weller record. While his output of late has been above average this latest Sonik" adventure goes beyond expectations. Weller has always been a changing man but i really didnt think hed push that title this far. The opening track GREEN sets the bar- a weird pulsing modern electronic pyschedelia with half spoken vocals and random bursts of acid guitar and swirling synth- its really one of a kind and the vocals harken back to of all things - the Sound Affects Jam era. The next set of tracks continue on a mix of electronic and pop rock- all to positive effect! Particulary KLING I KLANG sounds like know your rights(the clash) speed up to polka sped with Weller spouting of like the angry young man he once was. By the 5th tune its back to the wildwood era - BY THE WATERS is simply stunning! Nick Drake melancholie strings and simple acoustic guitar drive one of Wellers most haunting tunes ever. ThAT DANGEROUS AGE follows and is like late 70s Bowie - a perfect pop single- catchy- disposable and memorable at the same time. STUDY IN BLUE sounds like a clash or HARD FI dub number done by the style council- the long instrumental outro never growing tired. DRAGONFLY weaves like psychedelic drama ala The Damned- with a dark sound and lyrical subject matter. Only a few songs seem to fail- WHEN YOUR GARDENS OVERGROWN is weighed down by a very repetitive cheesy synth aprregiated line- too bad since it has a great chorus- this is one that perhaps comes across overproduced and misguided by the abundant electronic element which is throughout the whole album. Quickly to the rescue comes AROUND THE LAKE which has a JOY DIVISION feel- a throbbing electronic rock mix that is one of tha albums best tunes along with DRIFTERS which is somewhat a companian piece and is a perfect followup tune in the track order. PAPERCHASE is slow burner and continues the rocktronic sound of the album- with a a great middle eastern sounding synthetic string section- once again a Bowie influence creeps up in the arrangement and vocal! The album closes on a future soul/pop ode of positivity via BE HAPPY CHILDREN- with phased strings and contributions from his wife and children.
Sonik Kicks is perhaps in the end Wellers most varied and different solo album- with a heavy nod to dance and electronic elements not used before! For a guy whos approaching his mid 50s this is really a revelation as it sounds young and hungry! Some old fans may write it off as self indulgent or overproduced and too "electronic" but i think true WEller fans will appreciate the new sound and attempt to stay relevant! In the end i give 4.5 stars out of 5!!!!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
A long-time (two decades) Weller fan, I give him credit for experimenting on his last two albums when he could easily phone it in and rake in the cash. Having said that, I don't listen to this album much or Wake Up - they are jarring, mainly good for when I am amped up and want to exercise or kick out some high energy housework. Paul is at the stage where he has such a long history of proving his taste and influences - it would be wonderful to get a stripped down album from him where he sings and you can hear him, not look for him buried in the sound effects. We saw him in New York last month and as always he was fantastic.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
Another treat for Paul Weller fans. Sonik Kicks expands on the musical experimentation heard on 22 Dreams and 2010's Wake Up The Nation (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version - Deluxe Edition), putting it all together in a selection of songs that sound fresh and new, even as it echoes and evokes songs from throughout Weller's Jam, Style Council and solo career. Green is a typical attention-grabbing opener, mixing a thumping beat with fizzy sound effects and a mashup of sung and spoken word lyrics. That Dangerous Age is like a 53-year-old's version of The Jam's Just Who Is the 5 O'clock Hero? -- one in which the hero is no longer "scrimping and saving and crossing off lists," instead he's now "sick and tired of the money" and distracted by "a chick in the office." Sleep of the Serene is an instrumental that could be the bedtime music for those who live Life at a Top Peoples Health Farm. By the Waters is lyrically like a lost track from Wild Wood, with a more plaintive vocal for these more anxious times. The final track incorporates vocals from two of Weller's kids into a song of life and death and love and optimism and perhaps a wish for fans of all ages: Be Happy Children.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
Hard to understand why this album has gotten so many poor reviews from disatisfied listeners. If you're a longtime Paul Weller fan, surely you know to expect the unexpected, and this new CD is no exception. The music doesn't fit a defined formula, and for me that's part of the appeal. Once again, Weller pushes the boundaries of his musical environs. It may be "difficult" and "challenging" for some fans, but I find that's it still quite enjoyable and satisfying. No, it's not his strongest solo album, but there are more than a handful of really great songs and some total gems. I'm very happy that Paul Weller still has the spirit and passion that he does. And this album shows plenty of it.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
Rock singer-songwriter Paul Weller has released his new 11th studio album titled 'Sonik Kicks'. The CD (14 brand new tracks) sees Paul Weller pushing musical boundaries in mixing pop with soul, jazz, psychodelic & folk. The resulting musical sound is that of pop/rock, eletronica rock, orchestral & psychodelic/punk rock tracks in the album. Stand-outs/gems/solid tracks include "Study In Blue", a wonderful duet with great saxophone & "Be Happy Children", a pop/rock track with a beautiful orchestral base sound, melody & vocals. Great tracks include "The Attic", a punk-rock track, "Kling I Klang", up-tempo rock track, "Sleep Of The Serene", a psychodelic/gothic orchestral track, "By The Waters", rock track with great violin & vocals, "The Dangerous Age", another great rock track & "Paper Chase", electonica rock track with great melody. Okay tracks include "Green", eletronica rock track with a great guitar overdrive, "Dragonfly", electronica rock track, "When Your Garden's Overgrown", "Around The Lake", "Twilight" , a psychodelic electronica track & "Drifters", a punk rock track. Guest artists include Noel Gallagher (Oasis) & Graham Coxon.
On overall, Paul Weller is again on the cutting-edge, pushing new boundaries in his musical journey in this new CD 'Sonik Kicks', a recommended CD listening.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2013
Great album. Takes a couple of listens to fully appreciate, but gets better with every listen. Not my favorite PW album, but it's solid!
on March 10, 2015
Finally sat and really gave this a careful listen tonight, after having skimmed the CD
upon first release. I really wanted to love it but just found Sonik Kicks wanting. As other reviewers
have found, it's certainly varied, erratic, but the album kind of blew or skittered by and I just
couldn't connect with most of the songs, and/or Weller's uneven to weird to just plain awful
vocals on this effort. I doubt I'd give this a few more listens, nothing jumped out at me that
would require going back and giving it a second chance, as I usually do. Give me even
Wildwood or Stanley Road any day over this. Pretty disappointed since I've also had other
fans praise Sonik Kicks. On the other hand, most of Weller's recent live albums are all worth
a listen, Days of Speed and/or the more recent Catch a Flame or whatever that one is, it's
a double CD. There's just no overriding direction on this album: it's all over the map stylistically,
but sadly let down by weak songs and not even great band performances in this case.
Even the weakest Style Council material usually had some crackerjack performances to back
it up. Ah well, better luck next time Paul!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2012
This is really a 4 star (maybe 4.5), album, but I can't sit by and let those stupid, uninformed sods who gave this a 1 or 2 star rating get away with dragging the overall rating down. Sonik Kicks is Wellers best album in a very long while, with enough twists and turns to keep you coming back bit sounds like a very restless singer half his age recorded this, and that's quite a compliment. Excellent release. Haters can go back to their nickleback collections.
on August 17, 2015
I'll have some truffles and crumpets after some strawberry crepes and a fine Belgium waffle. I love my grandfather watch I keep in my pocket and indeed I have met the Royal Family and I've had brunch with the prime minister. My music is Britpop English rock n' roll...snobby indie rock. Good but not great. Kinda sounds like fashion-rock or something. Mod music or something. Aristocrat glam...I don't know.
on June 5, 2014
"Sonik Kicks" from 2012 is Paul Weller's next album after 2010's fantastic "Wake Up the Nation". This new album is a mix of what has come before ("As Is Now", "Wake Up the Nation") and some new additional explorations, if that's possible. Kicking-off with the psychedelic/dub-explosion of "Green", it just keeps getting better! "The Attic" a nice little rocking tune, the carnivalesque "Kling I Klang" and its play on words, at #4 the instrumental "Sleep of the Serene", another tune that recalled Francis Lai or some other great film-music composer. At #5 is the acoustic "By the Waters", a nice one. Then we have a song that will eventually be recognized as a true gem "That Dangerous Age", truly fantastic. "Study in Blue" has nice arrangements, with backing vocals being supplied by either Leah Weller or Hannah Weller. An easily favorite of mine here is "Dragonfly" with its mellow psychedelic influence and subtle meaning. The brilliant "When Your Garden's Overgrown" is classic Weller, what a great tune! At #10, 11, and 12 respectively is "Around the Lake", "Twilight", and "Drifters". "Paperchase" a nice one (I heard a small tribute to Ringo Starr: "It Don't Come Easy"), and the closing track "Be Happy Children", a nice soulful tune with a positive message. Too bad we don't get the beautiful "Lay Down Your Weary Burden", which is on the deluxe edition. All in all, this is more proof that Paul Weller is a musical trend-setter with a long and prolific career, but an artist of the first magnitude. This is especially true, when you consider the fact that most of his contemporaries, have long since lost their Muse. Credit on this album also has to go to: Simon Dine, Steve Cradock, Aziz Ibrahim, Andy Lewis, Andy Crofts, Graham Coxon, Noel Gallagher, Charles Rees, etc., etc.
Love and Peace,