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Paul Weller - Fat Pop (Volume 1) (Album Review)

Friday, 21 May 2021 Written by Jacob Brookman

Paul Weller is not slowing down. The singer-songwriter’s 16th solo album is a locked-down romp through pop sounds that, though not his best work, shows a high degree of focus and integrity.

The title track is indicative of this. Fat Pop is a sweet groover with elegantly sparse motifs, landing somewhere between the sprechgesang of Baxter Dury and ‘Think Tank’-era Blur. It’s good, solid music that is better than recent releases by many of Weller's pop grandee contemporaries. Just think of the rancid excrement served up by Van Morrison and Eric Clapton over the past 18 months.

Indeed, it’s telling that Weller can still move between pop genres with such panache and fluidity. Glad Times and Still Guides the Stream are elegant, mournful ballads while Moving Canvas delves into rootsy rock with cool flair.

Long-time Weller fans will not be surprised by such versatility, but it remains hugely impressive that the 62-year-old can navigate so many different modes without sounding like he’s chasing a younger sound. ‘Fat Pop’ never feels cloying.

And yet, it’s still a bit underwhelming. While the compositions and arrangements are decent on tracks like Shades of Blue and Better Times, the conservatism in Weller’s songwriting means that these songs come and go with little fanfare.

In truth, there’s nothing here to rival the pyrotechnics of 2017’s ‘A Kind Revolution’ and its follow up ‘True Meanings’. But even if ‘Fat Pop’ falls short of being peak-Weller, it continues a decade-long run of high quality releases that has established him as one of the UK’s most enduring recording artists. Long may he continue.

Paul Weller Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 09 2021 - BELFAST Ulster Hall Belfast
Wed November 10 2021 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Thu November 11 2021 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Tue November 16 2021 - OXFORD New Theatre
Wed November 17 2021 - BATH Bath Forum
Fri November 19 2021 - LIVERPOOL Eventim Olympia
Sat November 20 2021 - LLANDUDNO Venue Cymru
Mon November 22 2021 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall Southampton
Tue November 23 2021 - SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion
Wed November 24 2021 - MARGATE Margate Winter Gardens
Fri November 26 2021 - STOKE Victoria Hall
Sat November 27 2021 - SHEFFIELD Octagon
Mon November 29 2021 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Tue November 30 2021 - ABERDEEN Music Hall
Wed December 01 2021 - MIDDLESBROUGH Middlesbrough Town Hall
Fri December 03 2021 - NORWICH Norwich U.E.A.
Sat December 04 2021 - LINCOLN Engine Shed
Sun December 05 2021 - CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
Thu March 31 2022 - PLYMOUTH Plymouth Pavilions
Fri April 01 2022 - PORTSMOUTH Guildhall
Sat April 02 2022 - BRIGHTON Centre
Mon April 04 2022 - BLACKBURN King Georges Hall
Tue April 05 2022 - YORK York Barbican
Wed April 06 2022 - HULL Bonus Arena
Sat April 09 2022 - LEICESTER De Montfort Hall
Sun April 10 2022 - LEICESTER De Montfort Hall
Tue April 12 2022 - DUNDEE Caird Hall
Wed April 13 2022 - EDINBURGH Usher Hall
Fri April 15 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sat April 16 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Sun April 17 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Tue April 19 2022 - CARLISLE Sands Centre
Wed April 20 2022 - BRADFORD St Georges Hall
Fri April 22 2022 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Sat April 23 2022 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Sun April 24 2022 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton

Compare & Buy Paul Weller Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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