Paul Weller – On Sunset
Format: CD – LP – Cassette – Digital / Polydor Records
Release: 2020

Text: Iain Patience

In recent years UK rocker Paul Weller has delivered some real surprises with albums that highlight his truly remarkable strength as both a songwriter and singer. Often delightfully nuanced, with interesting lyrics and – at times – full orchestral backing support, Weller seems always to be just pushing a personal musical envelop. No bad thing, it must be said; if only more established artists had the same mind-set!

With his latest release, the ten-track, ‘On Sunset,’ we have yet another bold step forward. Weller is evidently on a roll and his assurance and inventiveness simply shines with each passing year. I’ve had the good fortune to review much of this guy’s recent work here and must admit to becoming steadily and increasingly sucked into his musical orbit. ‘On Sunset’ finds Weller with a new label, where he started out many years ago, Polydor, but the same drive and purpose he had in recent years when recording with Warner: the label may have changed but the quality, power and beauty remain as strong as ever.

Coming from a background that included, if not actually led, post-punk and new-rock waves globally with bands like The Jam and Style Council, Weller is no newcomer to musical division and diversions. With ‘On Sunset’ he yet again proves his overall quality and perceptive understanding with tracks that roam freely from rock and R&B to near-Americana and a Detroit, Memphis soul-bias that genuinely lifts the spirit.

This is music that works wonderfully well and proves yet again just how important this man can be. I’ve heard him called a genius in recent years and while that might seem over-the-top, I have to admit to becoming something of a stalwart fan of Weller and his forceful music vision.

Website: Paul Weller