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Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern | Album Review

Check out Hit The Floor’s review of Paul Weller’s new album Saturns Pattern!

Source: Official Album Artwork

Like Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller has never strayed far from the classic mod fringe. And while it’d be no surprise to learn that the two shared the same barber, it’s clear that since disbanding their respective bands one has looked to push his boundaries a little further than the other. Granted, Weller’s second band The Style Council called it a day back in 1989 – probably around the same time a young Noel was still having pilled-up revelations about the raw attitude and song-writing prowess of his elder. But nonetheless, that haircut stands for a certain modernist mindset, and when placing Noel‘s timid ‘Chasing Yesterday’ alongside Weller‘s ‘Saturns Pattern,’ it’s clear which artist better personifies the legend of his barnet.

Rubbish haircut analogy out of the way, what I was trying to get at was the fact that for an artist pushing 60, Paul Weller has at no point rested on his laurels. He continues to test himself by experimenting with new styles and sounds, and whilst not being quite as overtly experimental as his previous outing ‘Sonik Kicks’ which at times touched on space-rock with its sci-fi shimmers and robotic drum-beats, Saturns Pattern continues to display Weller‘s stylistic versatility.

The opening track ‘White Sky’ was co-written by Amorphous Androgynous, who after working with Noel Gallagher said “He was too afraid to be weird” (Don’t make me mention the fucking haircut again). But yes, weird could describe the track’s tone, the heavy fuzz of the psychedelic guitar-lines wrestling with Weller‘s raspy vocals to make for an exhilarating single. The next track, ‘Saturns Pattern’, another of the album’s singles – is a more bouncy number with fat-sounding synths and spaghetti-western harmonicas sitting comfortably behind a smooth, jazzy “doo-doo-doo-dooo.” 

‘Long Time’ hits hard with its ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’-like feel complemented by a suitably heavy riff, played by Josh McClorey of teenage blues-rockers The Strypes – once again showing Weller‘s faith in the modern world. ‘Long Time’ rolls straight in to the bubbly funk-enthused ‘Pick It Up,’ a tasty tune which sees Weller delicately vocalising the melodic “pick it up, pick up the pieces before they blow away,” this a personal highlight of the record.

As mentioned before, Saturns Pattern is yet another example of Paul Weller broadening his musical scope. And this eclecticism, as we’ve all come to expect, comes out smelling box-fresh – not exactly ground-breaking but still an original, exciting listening experience.

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