The ModFather himself delivers once again.
Less than a year after his 2020 On Sunset release, Paul Weller is quickly back on the scene with his latest release Fat Pop (Volume 1). With the inability to perform and tour for On Sunset, Fat Pop (Volume 1) in its way became the “stuck indoors” lockdown record that now may get its live performance chance.
The English singer-songwriter and musician has had a vast career within the music industry. He got his start as a member of the British group The Jam. Weller was known for his dabbling within puck rock and later on began to perform Blue-Eyed Soul with his formed group The Style Council, which was active just about all through the ‘80s. As a staple figure throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, his artistry, within the genre “mod rival,” coined him the nickname “The ModFather.” After being a part of so many different bands, Weller went off on his own and entered the world of the solo artist with his self-titled debut solo record Paul Weller. Fat Pop (Volume 1) comes to his vast discography as his 16th solo studio record following very close behind his 2020 release On Sunset, which was only released July 3rd.
The album kicks off with the single “Cosmic Fringes.” It is a blast of sonic electro-pop with a mixture of punk rock guitar and slight sprinkles of blues licks. The song is a fun, hopping, “fat-pop” track (pun intended) that has several elements that pop out from ear to ear, causing uncontrollable head bobbing. “Cosmic Fringes” has a way of feeling like the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s song all at once. With its mixture of synths and twangy electric guitar, it is in a world all its own.
“Shades of Blue” is a soothing and touching track that has a “Mister Blue Sky” vibe throughout. A fun aspect of this track is the female voice that sings along Weller is his daughter, Leah. She also assisted in the writing of the song alongside her father. This father-daughter element gives the track a touching positivity as it sings about taking a look at the precious things throughout life and their importance to each other.
Bringing on the ballad song, “In Better Times” is a beautifully constructed emotional track that asks to see the love around a specific person. While a simpler song that starts soft and acoustic, the track still carries the spunk and hoppiness with the phased guitar that peaks through adding funk to the song.
A track that stands above the rest is “Glad Times.” The first 30 seconds of this song is a vast soundscape of wavy guitar that is joined by a lush string section that fills the ears. There is a reversed guitar that raises in the background, adds to the feeling of reminiscing within memories that the song lyrics are eluding to. While other tracks on the record are full of vibing mixtures of funk and electro-pop, “Glad Times” does not carry the same feeling as it flows with elements of lounge with a strong cinematic layer.
Paul Weller put in the work and produced a stunning album with his latest release Fat Pop (Volume 1). The album is a fun, new creation from The ModFather that showcases all the different elements from his vast musical career all in one place.