Album: Paul Weller, Sonik Kicks (Island)

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The Independent Culture

Weller's renaissance is as heartening as it is unexpected.

After spending the 10 years either side of the millennium in a creative slump, no-one foresaw the singer coming up with albums as inventive as 22 Dreams, Wake Up the Nation and now this, which sees him discovering the joys of Krautrock, with opener "Green" following a linear groove reminiscent of Stereolab and three other songs following a distinctly Kraut-y pattern.

Ironically, given his Nineties association with Oasis, at least two tracks are reminiscent of Blur. There's a bit of Augustus Pablo-style reggae, a druggy psychedelic swirl called "Drifters", and a few more conventional moments.

Now he's rediscovered his creative spark, it's a shame he hasn't rekindled his political radicalism. Maybe next time. For now, this amounts to his most enjoyable LP since Our Favourite Shop.