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This Album is Paul Weller through and through because he not only sung every song but he also wrote them all, played every instrument except drum s and he even co-produced it too. Paul has in his career been part of various bands, most notably the Jam but for me always performs best as a solo artist.
Whilst I have bought hundreds of CD`s in my time and since the days of downloads and MP3 player, changed my play listings on a regular basis, one album that has stayed with me on CD and now is always on my MP3 player is Stanley Road - Paul Weller.
The first track on the album grabs you and then the whole album never lets go, the first track is Changing man, both lyrically and musically brilliant and Paul belts it out as only he could.
There are too many excellent tracks on this album to give individual mention to each and every one but one that deserves special mention is my all time favourite Paul Weller track, you do something to me.
This track has a bit of everything that makes Paul the artist he is, great lyrics that really mean something and reach out and touch you, excellent piano musical accompaniment that allows Paul to show off his musical talent as well as his voice and a soulful as well as rock edge to it allowing Paul to stretch his excellent vocals across the board.
There is a huge amount of people that appear on this album and it is really a musical extravaganza like no other single album with names like Dr Robert (Blow Monkeys), Steve Craddock (Ocean Colour Scene), Mick Talbot (Weller's comrade from The Style Council) and Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group) all involved in this album in some capacity it really is something very special.
It is truly one of those albums that just does everything right from the mix of tracks to the order they come in everything just falls perfectly into place and the fact that there is no bad or even mediocre tracks makes it a sensation in my eyes.
If this album has never graced your ears then make sure it does soon!!
1. Changingman, The
2. Porcelain Gods
3. I Walk On Gilded Splinters
4. You Do Something To Me
5. Woodcutter's Son
6. Time Passes...
7. Stanley Road
8. Broken Stones
9. Out Of The Sinking
10. Pink On White Walls
11. Whirlpools' End
12. Wings Of Speed
While new albums come and go, one that has stayed consistently in my CD player over the years is Paul Weller's Stanley Road. I was first introduced to Weller by my dad listening to Jam albums when I was much younger and from there I started to take a keen interest in all of his music from The Jam to The Style Council and on to the more recent solo stuff. This album is possibly his best material to date as a solo artist and certainly rates up there with the best stuff he has written in any guise. The Mod father is still going strong and even though this album is 10 years old it doesn't sound dated at all.
It's one of those albums that a lot of people seem to own and that will in a large part be down to the relaxing feel throughout. For me Weller is one of the main influences for a lot of music made in the last 15 years or so. He's been a big influence on the Indie movement over the years and this album will still be inspiring artists in the music they are making at the moment. He seems to have mellowed out a little since The Jam days and that seems to have had a more relaxing effect on his music.
The album is pure Weller and I think that's highlighted by the fact he not only wrote and sung the whole thing he played everything but Bass and Drums and even Co-produced it himself. Of course in places he had a little help from his friends with guest appearances by Ocean Colour Scenes Steven Craddock and Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher. With both men being friends and huge fans of Paul's it again reinforces that he has had a big influence on recent Indie rock bands throughout the 1990's.
It's possible that this album contains three of his biggest hits to date and it's those three tracks that will bring you into the album. Once you get passed "Changingman", "Broken Stones" and "You Do Something To Me", the rest of the album really keeps your attention. The album is a grower and for most it needs a bit of time to get to a point where you'll love every track. Just like the 3 hits from the album though the rest of the album does start to sound equally fantastic. I didn't take to the album first time round and occasionally would skip certain tracks but now I can listen to it over and over again.
One thing that stands out from the start of the album is Weller's writing ability. Each track is well put together and it sounds like Weller wanted to make as close to flawless album as he possibly could. The main plus of the album has to be the lyrics. Each track is quite deep and the lyrics all seem to tell a bit of a story. A large proportion of the album is made of a kind of love song but with Weller's vocals it gives them an incredibly unique sound. The lyrics are certainly well written and suit his vocal styling superbly; it could easily be The Jam rather than Weller on his own.
The basis of the album is clearly based around Weller's guitar playing. Coupled with that is a good bass line throughout the album that really forms a link between the vocals and a decent drumbeat. All in all it is musically a very impressive album and every track has something slightly different about it. The music and vocals blend nicely and throughout the album it's clear to see why Weller has gained himself such a reputation as a singer songwriter.
Personally there are a couple of tracks that sound better than the others. For instance "You Do Something To Me" is possibly my favourite Weller song. The slow start and peaceful melody make it a fantastic song to listen to. His vocals are quite calming and the message of the song has quite a romantic edge to it, without sounding like a sloppy love ballad. While another of the singles "Broken Stones" is a little more up tempo but equally it has something about it that just makes it a pleasure to listen to.
There is possibly only one track on the album that even after 10 years still hasn't quite grown on me as well as the rest of the album. At times I've found "Time passes " to be slightly drawn out. Other than that it's really a good album and one that I've never grown tired of listening to. It's certainly an indication of where a lot of modern music is coming from as Weller continues to be an influence on new artists and still make his own music as well.
Overall this is an excellent album that most people will already own. It's not an album that will instantly grab your attention but its one you certainly wouldn't regret buying. If you are a fan of Weller's singles then I certainly recommend picking this up. It's a great album and one that in 10 years time will still sound as good as it did when it first came out. The Mod father lives on and I'm sure he'll still be going for a long time to come.
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We all have a favourite album, and this is mine. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to review it. The album gets off to a rocking start with “The Changingman”. As with the majority of Paul Weller songs, this is lyrically brilliant, and the music, especially the guitar is superb. Weller puts in an angry performance, and sums up his attitude with one line, “I light a bitter fuse”. Weller has never apologised for being himself, and he knows that at times this had held him back, but he knew when he released this album, that it was so brilliant, nobody could criticise him for what he was doing anymore. “Porcelain Gods” slows the mood down a little, but it still rocks. The song is about putting people on a pedestal, only to find out that like porcelain, they break under pressure, leaving you disappointed. “I Walk On Gilded Splinters” is pure genius, and played live it is totally breathtaking. It is a cover of a Dr John song, but I have never heard the original, so I cannot make comparisons. Noel Gallagher plays guitar on this track, but is barely noticeable, and that is because the other musicians on this track are so talented, that the acoustic guitar fades into the background. “You Do Something To Me” is my favourite song on the CD, I played this at my wedding instead of the wedding march. It is powerful while still being gentle enough to be a love song. Weller plays the piano on this track, and proves again that he is a true all round musician, and his vocals are very soulful on this song. This has to rank as one of the best love songs ever written. Every word touches my heart, but the first line gets me every time…”You Do Something To Me, Something Deep Inside”. It is utterly breathtaking and haunting. “Woodcutters Son” totally rocks!! There is one line in the chorus that sums Paul Weller up, “Give me a chance, I’ll cut you
down with a glance”. The piano features strongly again, and the song tip toes to the end before fading out. “Time Passes” is a ballad, and it showcases Weller’s vocals so well. This is a criminally ignored song, and I can never understand why. It is the story of a lost love, and how you feel when you are not ready to let the memories of someone go. Weller wrote it about his wife at the time as they were going through a bad patch. Again, it is the lyrics which do it for me. There is a guitar riff at the end which sounds like part of another song, and in my eyes could have been totally left out. The title track “Stanley Road” is a rousing number. Weller shows that he does not just play piano on ballads, he can raise the tempo without raising an eyebrow. For once, this is a song where the lyrics take a back seat to the amazing music. The best track I have ever heard him play live is “Broken Stones”. Weller sticks with the piano, but this time he belts out some of the best lyrics I have ever heard. The song is about times when we struggle, no matter in what area of our lives. “Like a losers reach, too slow and short to hit the peaks”, and “like pebbles on beach, kicked around, displaced by feet” is just so right. When I am down, and nothing seems to be going right, these words sum it up for me. “Out Of The Sinking” will be a familiar track to a lot of people because it was used by Sky Sports for a couple of seasons when they were showing football. In the company of the other songs on the album, it seems pretty average to start with, but once it gets going, it is a great song which will have you tapping your feet on the rocky bits, and then feeling pretty chilled out for the rest of the song. “Pink On White Walls” is an upbeat toetapper. It is lighthearted, and is all about being happy with your lot. “Don’t waste your time, don’t
hesitate” is Weller telling us to savour every moment, and when you are least expecting it, great things will come along to surprise you. “Whirpool’s End” struggles to meet the standards seen previously from the other tracks, and on any other artists album would be a stand out track, but here it sounds like a very average rock song. “Wings Of Speed” introduces us to the vocals of the talented Carleen Anderson, which were heard a little on “Out Of The Sinking”. It is a lovely ballad, and Weller proves he can belt out rock songs with the best of them, but he can also slow it down and sing with just the piano for support. A lot of people are put off Paul Weller because at times he can present a very arrogant front, but if you look beyond the man and into his music you will be pleased and surprised at what you hear. He could never be classed as mellow, but he has certainly softened since his days in The Jam. There are so many acts today who credit Paul Weller as their inspiration, and Noel Gallagher still says that he feels humbled to have him as a friend. That is a great accolade. “Stanley Road” is a classic album, and the best one Paul Weller has released as a solo artist. The songs do not date, because Weller has his own style is a trend setter rather than a follower of fashion.
I’d never really heard any Paul Weller tunes before I got my hands on this little beauty of an album. It’s the kind of thing that plays well wherever you are, on the beach, at a barbecue, having a romantic meal or simply just driving to work on a Monday morning. Mr Weller serves you up a hearty meal of rock made up from all of the ingredients he's gathered from his lengthy carrer. He's literaly taken all of the decent bits from his own tunes and others from the 70's-80's(ish)-90's and brought them together in an up-to date history of rock. The album starts of with the rocking guitar sounds of Changing Man with Weller pumping out the vocals loud and proud. Then it moves onto track 4 the wedding/engagement party classic You do Something to ME, if you don't know the track name you sure as hell will know the tune when you hear it! If you then take a listen to track 8 Broken Stones it is a up tempo rock ballet and one that even Meat himself would be proud of! He’s either softly in the background or you turn him up and the same tracks become party classics! If you’re a soft rock kind of person who knows good music then you cannot go wrong with this!
This was the first Paul Weller album I bought after a couple of singles. It was summer of 96 when life was easy and relaxed so this album takes me back to evenings on the patio with friends and wine with Mr weller crooning in the background. Lovely. It seems that Paul Weller has progressed in a 'Jools Holland' kind of way from his a bit angry Jam days. Jools is now the much respected and admired musician and so is Mr Weller. Quite deservedly so to both of them. At least he has got rid of those army surplus parkers! As an album, it calls back to the memories of childhood, development and change into adulthood then maturity. A good 'musical documentary' of his feelings and experience of that time. Nice and mellow easy listening stuff.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Changingman
2 Porcelain Gods
3 I Walk On Gilded Splinters / Porcelain Gods (Part Two)
4 You Do Something To Me
5 Woodcutter's Son
6 Time Passes / Steam
7 Stanley Road
8 Broken Stones
9 Out Of The Sinking
10 Pink On White Walls
11 Whirlpools' End
12 Wings Of Speed