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22 Dreams

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 22, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

''After As Is Now I thought the time was right to make the sort of record I
wanted to make,'' says Paul Weller of the creative process which led
to his striking ninth solo album 22 Dreams. ''Instead of worrying about
anyone else, I wanted to really push the boat out. I think the result is going
to surprise a few people.'' Surprises have always been part of the artistic
vernacular for the man who changed rock forever with The Jam, explored a host of eclectic influences with The Style Council and cemented his position as the patriarch of Brit pop with his legendary solo work. 22 Dreams is the latest chapter in a creative journey spanning 30 years, with material spanning the full breadth of popular music rock to classical, avant garde to funk and spoken word to experimental. In addition to a cast of Weller s frequent collaborators including Steve Cradock and producer Simon Dine, 22 Dreams also features some of the largest beneficiaries of Weller s
incalculable musical influence. Noel Gallagher and Gem from Oasis lend
their talents to Echoes Around the Sun, a writing collaboration between
Weller and Gallagher. Ex-Blur guitarist Graham Coxon appears on Black
River. The spirit of collaboration and an in-the-moment creative approach
have resulted in one of Weller s most spirited works and one that is sure to
expand the artistic canon of the one and only Modfather.

Amazon.com

It's never too long between Paul "The Modfather" Weller albums. Yet the starlet's prolific solo output over the last decade or so hasn’t often reached the artistic heights of his work with The Jam or The Style Council. While consistent enough, recent projects have been marred by a certain complacency--a tendency to settle for the middle ground instead of the soaring, surprising heights of yesteryear. But on 22 Dreams, some of the old punk fire returns. Buoyed by a stellar Britpop cast including former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and Oasis members Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer, 22 Dreams is the sound of Weller finally taking an unexpected artistic leap after a series of steady steps. Working across a wide range of genres--rock, funk, soul, free jazz, krautrock, classical music, electronica, even spoken word--Weller presents an hour-plus odyssey full of eccentric surprises and loveable chaos. From the blue-eyed soul of "Have You Made Up Your Mind?" and the eerily brilliant "Echoes Around the Sun" (a Weller/Gallagher collaboration), to experimental offerings such as "111" and acid-folk opener "Light Nights", Weller digs deep into his magician's hat, and pulls out rabbit after rabbit. Some of the more off-the-wall moments--"God" for example--won't be for everyone, but the way everything collides together in a haphazard, devil-may-care manner serves to remind us that we should never write off our beloved veterans--you never know when they’re going to take an unexpected artistic risk.--Danny McKenna
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B001AE3V4M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,615 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Paul Weller Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The legendary rock star, Paul Weller makes his comeback!
If nothing else, you tend to associate Paul Weller with lean and muscular music - rock without any flab or fripperies.
So the big surprise about the epic "22 Dreams" is just how much latitude Weller gives himself to wander off down intriguing musical backwaters.
Some 30 years spent as a bedrock of great British songcraft is time enough for a man to be allowed to indulge himself a little.
Hence this Paul Weller 70-minute concept album relating a young man's journey from heartbreak to spiritual awakening, blending together an eclectic array of genres, spanning two discs, 21 tunes and much of the musical spectrum: trad folk, lounge, psychedelia and piano balladry included.
Yes, there are the mod anthems, spirited evocations of Sixties R&B, like the title track.
But there are instrumental interludes which run the gamut from eastern classical to blithe jazz, all invested with a dream-like quality.
Even so, all are unmistakably Weller.
The voice of a generation can't be disguised by shifting genre. Despite the eclectic aspirations, standouts recall the vibrant English soul that first marked the latter days of the Jam.
There are curiosities like "Light Nights", which is earnest folk with a whiff of Pentangle about it, and "Why Walk When You Can Run", a pining bit of acoustica which could almost belong on the latest Neil Diamond album.
There are liberal dose of strings, occasional whiffs of Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye and, with the apparent theme of changing seasons, a sense of something epic happening, but without the dreary sense of self-importance which often comes with a concept album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
22 Dreams has become my favorite Paul Weller album. After 1995's `Stanley Road' Weller albums had started to sound very similar. They were often very good but they lacked that extra spark. 22 Dreams is more ambitious than his recent releases. He experiments with new instruments, different sounds and includes a number of guest musicians. It nearly all works. It is an album that grows on you. At nearly 69 minutes it is also good value for money.

22 Dreams appears to have been influenced by 1970s folk-rock artists like John Martyn and Nick Drake. The album is mostly acoustic and features piano, a lot of acoustic guitar, strings and even the odd harp. As well as rock, folk and soul, Weller explores new genres including electronica and spoken word. The themes (love, the breakdown of relationships, the passing of time) may be familiar to long-term Weller fans. The man has had a complicated love life.

Some of the music is experimental. Robert Wyatt turns up on trumpet. 'Song for Alice' is written for Alice Coltrane, who replaced McCoy Tyner as pianist with John Coltrane's group in the 1960s. She later married Coltrane. I love her music, but I would never have guessed that Weller was also a fan. The track '111' also appears to be influenced by the Sixties avant-garde. His taste in music has come a long way from his Jam days. This is his most varied and surprising album. However, there is also some electric guitar and Noel Gallagher appears as a guest on a couple of rock songs.

Weller has always been an excellent songwriter and he doesn't disappoint, there are some great songs on the record. Weller is also a good singer and he delivers the material with power and passion. Weller is a national institution in Britain, but he hasn't sold many records in the US.
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Format: Audio CD
At this late point in his illustrious career Paul Weller manages to pull off a feat which few artists of his stature (or vintage) can do; produce a nearly-perfect comeback record. While it may not have the stylistic flashes of Wildwood or Stanley Road, the Modfather doesn't have to impress anyone but himself. A great release well worth waiting for.
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Format: Audio CD
Okay, so there are 21 songs, not the expected 22. Don't let it bother you. This is the first disc in a long time that feels like a fully realized album to me. It isn't a concept album--I don't find any common thematic thread musically or lyrically, yet somehow each song rolls perfectly into the next. In particular, the flow from the title track to All I Wanna Do (Is Be with You), to Have You Made up Your Mind? to Empty Ring to Invisible to Song for Alice feels like one unbroken continuum, despite their varied musical styles. Yes, there are a couple of tracks that might have been better left off the disc (for instance God or 111), but somehow they don't bother me as they would on another artist's record. Perhaps it's because I feel like Weller really believes in those tracks. In another musician's hands, they would strike me as pretentious. On 22 Dreams, they just feel like a couple of good ideas that didn't work out. As a long-time Paul Weller fan, I've long since given up on hoping for a return to The Jam's sound. You hear it here and there, but what is great about Weller is that he continues to move forward as a musician long after many other guys would be living off the royalties from their greatest hits boxed sets.
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