22 Dreams

Studio Album by released in 2008
22 Dreams's tracklist:
Light Nights
22 Dreams
All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)
Have You Made Up Your Mind
Empty Ring
Invisible
Song for Alice
Cold Moments
The Dark Pages of September Lead to the New Leaves of Spring
Black River
Why Walk When You Can Run
Push It Along
A Dream Reprise
Echoes Round the Sun
One Bright Star
Lullaby Fur Kinder
Where'er Ye Go
God
111
Sea Spray
Night Lights

22 Dreams review

A new turn in Paul Weller’s creative work

If we ask somebody from Great Britain whom of the artists he or she considers the most meaningful figure in the music history of the country one of the most popular answers would probably contain the name of Paul Weller. At his age of 50 the former founder of bands The Jam and The Style Council can be rightfully considered a national hero although judging by everything he is still too very far from the idea of resting on the laurels. After the hits compilation Hit Parade was released in 2006 the musician got to work on an utterly new material. Album 22 Dreams released at the very beginning of this summer makes those who think the better times for Peter Weller have passed change their minds easily and with a bold confidence. The point is that 22 Dreams is a turn for 180 degrees in the artist’s creative work to those directions he has been always fond of but never actually worked with, namely, folk and soul, with the spirit of Britpop still flying over them. This is especially revealed in the unexpected collaborations with Oasis Noel Gallagher and Jam Archer and guitarists Steve Cradock from Ocean Colour Scene and Graham Coxon from Blur.

A splendid musical adventure 22 Dreams

21 songs of 22 Dreams are a splendid musical adventure, breathtaking, relaxing and causing admiration at the same time. sings mainly of failed relationships but he manages to say much more without any words on the instrumental tracks. The album opens with Light Nights, a wonderfully beautiful melodious composition with amazing fiddles, and the title track gives such a charge of vivacity that one cannot help thinking how old this performer is indeed. A remarkable number All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You) pleases with a nice rhythm and Empty Ring is a song full of life reflections. Composition Invisible is an unbelievable piano ballad performed with Paul Weller’s heartfelt falsetto while on Song For Alice, devoted to late Alice Coltrane the elements of blues are present. A short interlude The Dark Pages Of September Lead To The New Leaves Of Spring is just breathing with a feeling of hope, and one of the most interesting tracks is Black River, built on a contrast between Weller’s somewhat tense vocals and a jazzy piano and synthesizer accompaniment creating the atmosphere of slight easiness. Psychedelic motifs of Echoes Round The Sun, written with Noel Gallagher grow into a spy movie soundtrack, whereas a beautiful instrumental composition Lullaby Fr Kinder pleases with rather a complicated tune. Fiddles meet piano on a romantic ballad Where'er Ye Go, while the track different from all the others is God, on which Paul speaks the text accompanied by a guitar and great percussion. A heavy instrumental track 111 rather reminds of a tuning orchestra and surprises with synthesizers that are absolutely insane, with all the final Night Lights (the inverted title of the opener) on which the stylized thunder rolls can be heard at the end.

A performer of various styles

The history of this musician is the story of a never-ending creative search. Paul Weller’s talent is so many faceted that each of his albums that he released with bands and alone is somewhat different from the others. Trying his hand at most varied styles the artist has never made any concrete choice and still ranks himself as a performer of various styles. As for his solo career 22 Dreams becomes already the ninth album in the list of his records and it goes without saying that it will surely not be the last one. The songs’ production has been carried out by Simon Dine giving new motifs to the rock music. In particular the improvisation is brighter than ever on 22 Dreams, blues sounds especially sad and the synthesizers are much more impressive. The variety of instruments from trumpet to clarinet pleases and inspires letting Paul’s voice render the widest spectrum of emotions. Certainly one of his most interesting and successful albums, 22 Dreams will definitely find itself among the year’s best records and provide those fond of good and stylish music with a lot of pleasant moments.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (24.06.2008)
Rate review4.00
Total votes - 8


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