Posts Tagged ‘Wake Up The Nation’

Album artwork for Wake Up The Nation

Paul Weller’s incendiary Mercury Music nominated album “Wake Up The Nation” 2020 remastered edition is out now. Remastered by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and Paul himself, “Wake Up The Nation” includes the hit singles – No Tears to Cry, Wake Up the Nation, Find the Torch Burn the Plans, & Fast Car/Slow Traffic. Featuring re-styled cover artwork and packaging (with colour poster ), this version of “Wake Up The Nation” is available on CD and digitally now. The vinyl version is coming early 2021. 

Buzzing with guitars and gurgling effects, and built upon a succession songs that barely crest the two-minute mark, Wake Up the Nation doesn’t share much with the follow up “22 Dreams”, apart from that sense of adventure with Weller cramming a suite’s worth of twists into a song. As packed as these tunes are, they’re drawn with crisp lines; for as busy as these are, nothing feels cluttered, they’re all teeming with life. Many of the left turns arrive via the arrangements — witness how everything careens out of control after the chorus of “Grasp & Still Connect,” the elastic psychedelia of “Andromeda,” the updated New Orleans shuffle of “Trees’ — or the unexpected collaborations, whether it’s the tightly wound reunion with the Jam’s Bruce Foxton on “Fast Car/Slow Traffic” or bringing in My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields to craft the dense dangerous heartbeat of “7&3 Is the Strikers Name,” but this isn’t window-dressing: the entire effect is 22 Dreams in reverse, contracting where its predecessor expanded, substituting introspection for action, swapping contemplation for excitement. Wake Up the Nation pulsates with an energy considerably different than the stomping rock & roll of As Is Now.

That was all musical muscle, but this is music of the mind that remains fiercely visceral, music that feels of a piece of Weller’s entire body of work, but is quite unique in its execution and impact.

“I was never happy with the mix on Wake Up the Nation, so when someone pointed out that it had been 10 years since it’s been out I thought it was a good opportunity to try a re-mix on it. I liked the chaos and intensity of the original but I could hear how much you couldn’t hear in it. I think the new mix reveals lots more parts that you didn’t hear in the original while still keeping the energy.” – Paul Weller

Wake Up the Nation was the tenth studio album from Paul Weller and was released on 19th April 2010. It was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Music Prize. The albums was dedicated to “absent friends – John Weller, Pat Foxton and Robert Kirby. It is the first of Weller’s albums since 1982 to feature contributions from Bruce Foxton, formerly of The Jam. Weller told Mojo magazine: “We’d both lost loved ones and without getting too spiritual that was the spur of it. I spoke to him this time last year when his wife Pat was ill and that broke the ice, then I invited him down to Black Barn (studio).

There was no big plan, it was easy, a laugh, and nice to see him and work together again. We just slipped back into it.” Wake Up the Nation received great acclaim from most music critics. In Metro, John Lewis awarded the album 4 stars out of 5 and commented: “Since turning 50 two years ago, the Modfather seems to be making the most adventurous music of his career, astounding even the most Weller-phobic critics … Most of the 16 tracks are short, sharp, clever and often wonderfully odd: check out bonkers music hall epic “Trees”, “In Amsterdam” or militaristic sound collage 7&3 Is The Strikers Name (an unlikely collaboration with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields). Weller loyalists will be reassured by the copper-bottomed dad-rock staples, while Style Council fans will love Aim High, his finest blue-eyed soul ballad in ages.