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Heavy Soul Import

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, August 5, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Heavy Soul' Is the New Album from the One And Only Paul Weller, And Follows the Mighty 'Stanley Road', Very Limited Special Gatefold CD Package with Insert Card And Lyric Sheet, 'Heavy Soul' Features the Storming Single from Last Year.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 5, 1997)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: August 5, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal Int'l
  • ASIN: B000001E9W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,734 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Let's paint a picture. You've got "Wild Wood", you've got "Stanley Road," and you love them both. You're excited when you hear that Paul Weller is coming out with a new album, thinking it will be much of the same style music. You get the CD, and you look at titles, then you throw in the CD. From the ragged opening chords of the title track, Paul takes you down a road you've never been down... or at least with him. This album is full of raunchy guitars, heavy drums, and throbbing bass. It comes off as rough, it's hard to listen to coming off his previous albums, and it comes at you like a rusty jagged knife. AND I LOVE IT! I admit, the first time I heard it, it was tough, but it grows on you fast. The guy wants to get back to some old fashioned garage rock, and there's nothing wrong with it. The title track and "Peacock Suit" are brought forth with funky riffs, and elementary but lovable lyrics ("I don't need a ship to sail in stormy weather/I don't need you to ruffle the feathers of my peacock suit/Do ya fink I should?") There's stellar beauty in "Up In Suze's Room" which combines acoustic guitar, rollicking drums, a soaring electric guitar solo, and even some strings thrown on to some steamy lyrics. "Driving Nowhere" is a simple but painfully earnest song, "Science" is built off a funky guitar riff and Paul's beliefs ("I can be who I am/I have no pretense") There are many songs that highlight this album, as in his last efforts.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Weller's fourth solo studio album is not his best, but it is his most sonicly raw! Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad record, it's grand! The songs are great, but they're not his best batch. One gets the feeling by listening to this album that this is a bookend to his 90's output, and he's getting geared to explode into something fantasticly new. "Peacock Suit" is the most genuine expression of love for style and the MOD attitude that has ever been recorded. "Mermaids" applys this same urgancy in close to three minutes, only this time for a girl . Buy this record NOW!!!!!!! THis is the ONLY forty year old Rock n Roll (or should I say SOUL) artist out there who still has the guts, the balls, and the passion for the music he makes. If you say Sting, you don't know Rock n Roll. (I'm at work now, can't write anymore.) MODS RULE!!!
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Format: Audio CD
Weller's ability to keep his fans on their toes is evident here. Great guitar, refreshingly so from the hippy-trippy tone of his last two efforts. Recorded whilst separated from his wife and kids, Weller focuses his isolation and frustration into well crafted songs that are simple without being vague. And given some of the songs' apparent gloom, there is still hope in Weller's voice that comes with being an old revolutionary. A heavy soul indeed, but worth repeated listens.
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Format: Audio CD
During the punk era and on into the nineties, I was heavily into jazz and tango. So I missed The Jam, the Style Council, and the first part of Paul Weller's solo career. My introduction to the music of Paul Weller came via an article in a business magazine (of all places) that highly recommended Illumination. The commentary in the recommendation was so intriguing that I ordered that and subsequently a couple of other Weller recordings. But it wasn't until my purchase of the great As Is Now that I became a confirmed Paul Weller fan.
A couple of months ago, I spotted Heavy Soul and a couple of other Weller CDs I did not have at a good price in a favorite Encinitas record store and decided to buy the bunch. Well, Heavy Soul turned out to be the "heaviest" of the group. When you compare it to the music Weller is best known for, the style is very different.
Some reviewers complain about elements of psychedelia in the music. The classic late-sixties style of lettering on the CD sleeve should have tipped them off that Heavy Soul is not the typical Weller album, if indeed any one is. The open-minded fan should find a lot to like here. There is some great rock and roll, some funky jive-honky soul, and touches of psychedelia throughout.
My favorites are the title cut, Peacock Suit, Up In Suze's Room, Brushed, Science, Golden Sands, and As You Lean Into the Light. If you listen carefully, you will notice that the bass line on Driving Nowhere is evocative of early Love, while the introduction to Heavy Soul Pt. 2 sounds like a slow-motion lead-in to Neil Young's Southern Man.
Those Weller fans who do not yet have Heavy Soul should take a chance on it. The CD is accompanied by an attractive booklet containing pictures, lyrics, and pertinent album information. And judging from the offerings here, the price is right!
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Format: Audio CD
This record has received some backlash for sounding too rough, but I believe that its faults actually lie in not committing completely to the initial concept of a slightly messy, live-sounding album. For the most part the songs here are actually quite short (despite the fact that the record has been criticized for "guitar noodling" jams, there's actually more noodling in evidence on Weller's previous two releases). So what we get is some of the rough sound of a live approach (more distortion, nicely growled vocals) without the most important part of the approach: the joy in hearing music unfolding in unpredictable ways, the sense that anything might happen at any time. A song like "Science" seems especially weak in this regard. It runs along in the same groove for three minutes, and as it moves toward the fade, there's no sense of having gone on a journey anywhere new (to steal a jazz cliche').
However, that said, the strong moments here are very strong, most of them coming in the record's first half. "Mermaids" works simply because it's a great song. The same for "Driving Nowhere".
More moments like the extended guitar break on "Heavy Soul" would have truly made this the kind of record it could have been: one in which Weller's songwriting skills act as a platform for live improvisation. Although I would recommend this album to my friends ("Heavy Soul", "Mermaids" and "Driving Nowhere" are worth the purchase price), I can't help thinking about what could have happened if the band had been allowed (had allowed itself?) to roam to unfamiliar places, even at the risk of getting lost.
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