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Paul Weller's Heavy Soul is exactly that: a darker, brooding look at the world through the eyes of someone who has been there and done that.
Combining an angrier lyrical perspective with deeper soul melodies, R'n'B riffs and blues mentality makes Heavy Soul probably Paul Weller's most exposed album to date.
Heavy Soul had a hard act to follow in the million-selling album Stanley Road and it did this by taking an entirely new approach.
Released in 1997, Britpop was going full-steam, New Labour's dreams were realised and Britannia was officially cool again.Cultivating a more raw and aggressive sound, Heavy Soul hints at the comedown following the high.
That the band play live on numerous tracks adds a sense of urgency and the album's understated production leaves the songs to speak for themselves. "There was criticism that some of the songs were undeveloped. That was true... The idea was to try and do something even more removed from Stanley Road, more rough and spontaneous."
The album's 40-minute running time makes it his shortest album to date, further fuelling the live, gritty vibe he so wished for.