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Studio 150

Paul Weller

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Album Review

For Studio 150, his seventh solo studio album, Paul Weller delivers his first official covers album. Not that he's been reluctant to cover other songwriters, of course. Throughout his career, he's made covers a staple of his records and concerts. In fact, he cut so many as B-sides in the '90s that his 2003 B-sides and rarities compilation Fly on the Wall had a whole disc devoted to material from other songwriters. Studio 150 feels like a sister album to that disc, and not just because it shares a similar sensibility and has songs by both Tim Hardin and Neil Young. Musically, Studio 150 sounds as if it could have been recorded in 1995 as the missing link between Stanley Road and Heavy Soul, containing the swinging mod vibe of the former with the tough, muscular punch of the latter. While it could be argued that Weller is treading water, or even retreating after the subtle shifts forward on Illumination, it's almost a moot point since the band sounds terrific and he's in fine voice. Plus, this is a covers album and innovation isn't exactly expected on covers albums. What is expected is that the artist puts his own signature on songs from another writer, and Weller does that. True, as a whole Studio 150 doesn't sound all that different from other records in his catalog, but he's managed to find new spins on perennials like "Close to You" and "All Along the Watchtower," interpretations that fit within his signature blend of '70s soul, mod pop, and singer/songwriter introspection. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the album consists of songs from the late '60s and '70s, with selections from singer/songwriters like Tim Hardin, Gil Scott-Heron, Gordon Lightfoot, and Neil Young sitting comfortably next to relatively obscure soul and disco singles (with a previously unrecorded song from Weller disciple Noel Gallagher blending into the surroundings nicely). Some of these songs are familiar, but these arrangements are distinctly Weller's own, and it makes for an effective listen — maybe not a major effort from the Modfather, but an enjoyable one all the same.

Customer Reviews

A different perspective

Luv this guy, one of the top songwriters in the uK, does he need to do a cover version lp? You tell me. His songs are so genuine and orginal i don't think he needs to. EVEN so I still love the rose royce version track no.2 - pure genius for weller fans. Quite liked the bottle and thinking of you.You listen and make your own mind up. Check out the back catalogue this guy is seriously good!

Studio 150

I think this album is fantastic ! Paul shows what a great singer he is, being able to sing most of these songs better than the other artists. The guys a genius/legend.

Biography

Born: 25 May 1958 in Woking, Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As the leader of the Jam, Paul Weller fronted the most popular British band of the punk era, influencing legions of English rockers ranging from his mod revival contemporaries to the Smiths in the '80s and Oasis in the '90s. During the final days of the Jam, he developed a fascination with Motown and soul, which led him to form the sophisti-pop group the Style Council in 1983. As the Style Council's career progressed, Weller's interest in soul developed into an infatuation with jazz-pop and house...
Full bio
Studio 150, Paul Weller
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  • £10.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, British Invasion
  • Released: 14 September 2004

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