Title - 'Illumination' (Yep-Roc)
Artist - Paul Weller
Illumination is a great, well-rounded collection of songs that gets better and better the more you listen. If you bought the import when it first came out in the UK, it is definitely worth getting this US DVD/CD combo for the 5 videos and 3 extra songs alone. The DVD has 3 songs from Paul's Hyde Park concert, including two of his classic love songs, "Sunflower" and "You Do Something to Me," as well as a new song, "Standing Out in the Universe". The concert was filmed on a summer day around dusk and everything is bathed in a gorgeous light. It is a rare treat to see Weller in concert in the US. With this DVD we finally get a taste of Paul's amazing live chemistry with his audience and his stellar band (including longtime drummer Steve White, and Steve Cradock and Damon Minchella of Ocean Colour Scene). Plus we get videos for the new singles, "It's Written in the Stars" and "Leafy Mysteries". The other bonus is the addition of 3 new tracks: "Horseshoe Drama," "Push Button Automatic" and "Talisman." These are fast becoming my new faves off the album. "Horseshoe" rocks, "Push Button" is a catchy, funny, Kinks-y tune, and "Talisman" may just be the finest song on this album. It has anger, intensity, power, and a "Funeral Pyre"-esque riff (or is it "Scrape Away"?). This album is fresh, diverse, tender, angry, and heartfelt. Many songs will be immediate favorites; others have hidden depths that will open up on repeated listening. Add the superb extra tracks, live footage, videos and you can't go wrong.