Personnel: Steve Cradock (vocals, guitar); Paul John Weller (vocals, piano); Pauline Terlow (violin); Mieke Honingh (viola); Jacko Peake (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Benjamin Herman (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Jan Van Duikeren (trumpet, flugelhorn); Louk Boudesteijn (trombone); Steve "Supe" White (drums).
Audio Mixer: Joeri Saal.
Photographer: Lawrence Watson.
Following swiftly on the heels of his 2004 covers album, AS IS NOW finds Paul Weller looking to various phases of his career for an assured and eclectic record. On this 2005 outing, the British "Modfather" largely downplays his love of soul in favor of 1960s-inspired pub-rock (the lively opener, "Blink and You'll Miss It") and folk-influenced tunes (the chiming "All on a Misty Morning"). Most notably, however, Weller revisits the edgy sound of his beloved punk group, the Jam, on the energetic "Come On/Let's Go" and the driving "From the Floorboards Up." Of course, no Weller solo album would be complete without a groove-laden tune, and here he offers up the self-explanatory "Bring Back the Funk (Pts 1 & 2)," which highlights the tight interplay of his band. While longtime fans have plenty to admire on AS IS NOW, this dynamic set also serves an excellent sampler of Weller's stylistic range for the uninitiated.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.63) - Ranked #32 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[A] career highlight....His best since WILDWOOD."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The most striking thing about it is the mood - a friskiness and lightness of touch, even a welcome touch of corniness and self-deprecation, that seems to have been missing in recent years."