Studio 150 - named for the Amsterdam studio it was recorded in - certainly it's a less evocative name than Abbey Road - is Paul Weller's collection of covers, and the former lead singer of the Jam certainly takes on an unusual genre-spanning selection.
This includes everything from Neil Young's "Birds" to Rose Royce's "Wishing on a Star." It's great to know that while the Jam were creating such modern classics as "A Town Called Malice", they were also paying close attention to disco. I've noticed that the rock snobbery against disco seems a lot less pronounced in Britain and indeed the general fascination with soul music first shown in the Jam's Motown covers is present here too, shown by the inclusion of Nolan Porter's northern soul classic "If I Could Only Be Sure" and Gil Scott-Heron's "The Bottle."
Weller certainly adds his own spin on the songs. The aforementioned "Thinking of You" is turned into a pensive piece for acoustic guitar, while the Burt Bacharach / Hal David classic "Close to You" acquires a horn section. He's more Style Council than Jam these days, the rasp in his voice sounding more wistful than outraged, all the better to go with the funked-up arrangements of many of these tunes.
The only qualification, really, is the inclusion of a (gospel-tinged) cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." Really, is there any point to covering a song Hendrix covered near-perfectly? Otherwise, Studio 150 finds the Modfather in fine form, imposing his unique style on his idiosyncratic choices.
(This review taken from Delta Sierra Arts)