2010: 15 of the Best. #9 . . .

December 7, 2010

#9: Paul Weller – No Tears To Cry

From: Wake Up the Nation
Released: April 19, 2010
Label: Island/Yep Roc
Buy it: Here.

I’m not a big fan of Wake Up the Nation in the same way that I’m not a big fan of 22 Dreams. While I applaud the Modfather’s prolificacy over the past few years (and into the future it seems, with a new album apparently already being readied for an April release), I feel that the product of keeping busy as of late is a lot of wayward songwriting. I don’t mind the odd soundscape or musical doodle, but I appreciate it a lot more if it leads to something instead of a 2-minute, stream of conscious meditation. I like structured songs, and that’s something that’s been in short supply on Weller’s last two records. The kicker is that the structured ones that do show up — such as “No Tears To Cry” — are among the finest of Weller’s career. This is what I envisioned Simon Dine-produced Weller albums to be when they started collaborating (the fabulous “It’s Written in the Stars,” or Weller’s contributions to Noonday Underground’s Surface Noise) — vintage soul through Modern framing. “No Tears To Cry” sounds cut right from a classic Tamla cloth. I love it. I can take or leave the rest of the album, of course, but does Weller care? I doubt it. And nor should he. Since when has he ever done anything besides follow his own muse?

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