Saturns Pattern, the 12th solo album by Paul Weller, former frontman for The Jam and The Style Council, is yet another example of a life spent brilliantly shifting from styles and genres as well as of an album well conceived and sublimely recorded.
Continuing the evolution of sound from 2008’s 22 Dreams and the very well received Sonik Kicks in 2012, Weller finds himself comfortably in the middle of a resurgence in this later period of a career many felt had been in danger of his simply playing the part of an aging rock star as he kicked out no-frills solid rock album after solid rock album. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with solid rock albums, especially in an era when rock is out of fashion, but this is Paul Weller we’re talking about.
Any fan of The Jam knows that when Mr. Weller is going in the right direction, he’s anything but a no-frills rock singer. When he’s got the creative tiger by the tail, expect an exhilarating sonic adventure as you follow where he leads. From the heavy groove of opening track “White Sky” to the nearly Bowie-esque vocals laid on top of a band growling with the feel of vintage Iggy and the Stooges, Saturns Pattern is exactly that – a sonic adventure.
Across nine songs totalling up to exactly 53 minutes and one second, Mr. Weller has created nothing more or less than a damn strong studio recording that defies expectations of what an aging former rock star should be producing at this point in life. Built on the melodic and inspirational bones of his past experiences, plus his palpable influences, Saturns Pattern just shines with the promise of more music yet to come from this veteran musician, age be damned.
After all, this album is just a debut release for Warner Bros. If you’re into ambitiousness in your rock stars, I say give the new guy a chance.