Since his early days in The Jam and The Style Council, Paul Weller has never been one to shy away from innovation and experimentation. While forming a base amongst the mod scene in the 1970s and later a post-punk identity the following decade, his solo work has continued to showcase him as a broad and adventurous artist that is always in search of the next big thing. But with his latest record 'Fat Pop (Volume I)', it feels like he may be working a bit too hard on his new direction as he delivers one of the most divisive offerings of his career so far.
While he has always been someone to pump out music on a regular basis, the last six years has now seen five full-length releases from Weller, showing that he is having one of the biggest creative streaks of his life. But while a prolific nature within a man of his tenure is nothing to be sniffed at, it is starting to show its cracks as he takes a more meandering path on this new collection. From the start, 'Fat Pop (Volume I)' looks to showcase itself as something vastly different from his usual output, but with that comes this untethered direction that is at times hard to keep a handle on.
Although this is by no means a duff release in his catalogue, 'Fat Pop (Volume I)' does have far more ups and downs than many would like to listen to. For every moment of joyous and uplifting glitter, there is something that just won't gel with it, making for a very turbulent listen that penetrates through only half of the time.