John C. from KENSINGTON, MD Reviewed on 5/12/2014...
Paul sounds like a rough, young Pete Townshend on this, perhaps his best solo release. The songs run the gamut — all excellent. This is a solid, mature collection of tunes by an artist who continues to stretch his musical wings in all kinds of interesting directions.
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My Ever Changing Moods
Pax | Greensboro, North Carolina United States | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will never forget the time when I first heard the Jam. I was about 12, 1981, and I was down in my neighbors basement in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was one of seven catholic kids, and he somehow ended up with a copy of In The City. It was the coolest thing I'd ever heard. It wasn't long before we were spray painting a piece of styrofoam in the same manner as the front of the album. Weller has been a huge part of my music heritage ever since. Stanley Road finds Weller at the peak of his "3rd" life. To me, it's his defining moment as an artist. Weller hits the perfect notes with his 3rd solo album, an album filled with just enough artistic personal statements to sketch a portrait as rich as any singer-songwriter that I'm aware of. Porcelain Gods? Changingman? Pink on White Walls? In the Distance? Street With No Name? All classic, defining Weller moments. Who is Weller? Listen to Stanley Road. ala " I know I come from Woking & you say I'm a fraud, but my heart is in the city, where it belongs".I was lucky enough to have this album as a companion on a rail trip through Europe when it first came out. Everytime I hear it, it reminds me of the hills in Italy and nights on the balcony overlooking the Amalfi coast. This album has the same rare capacity Weller's 1st album, In the City, had, that is, to define a time and a place. Pink on White Walls? How else to you explain the buildings in Italy? "Don't waste your time, don't hesitate, life is but a moment you can't wait, Go and have your fun, go and lose your mind, but can you get back to the ones you left behind?"Good Question!"
James V Graziosi | Troy, MI United States | 06/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had written Paul Weller off after subpar outings with the Style Council. After the urging of a friend, he persuaded me to pick up this title. After listening to this, I realized Paul Weller going back to his roots with The Jam. Although it is much more mature than his old school days, I enjoyed this outing very much. His writing style has come back with some middle aged anger which made me very pleased. Fans will not be disappointed."
The perfect answer?
Stuart Griffiths | Oxford, England | 02/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Weller had such a big act to follow when Stanley Rd was due for release, Wild Wood had signalled a return to power for the 'Mod Father' and in the height of the Uk Britpop boom it would take an album of quality to get noticed. This album was the perfect answer, combining the raw power of tracks such as The Changingman and the title track Stanley Road with the heart string pulling Broken Stones and You Do Something, which I have no doubt is one of the best love songs ever written. This album is an emotional journey, combining starting with fierce anger as The Changingman "lights a bitter fuse" which signals this musical explosion. The reurn of fire at the UK music press, who seemed unable to cope with Weller's changing moods, comes in Porcelein Gods as Weller protests "more advice to fill up you head, more empty words, from the living dead." But there is another all more peaceful, thankfully, and thoughtful side to this album. Carleen Anderson's voice on Wings of Speed leaves the listener enchanted, while Weller brings tears to the eyes as he pleads "You do something to me..." This thought is echoed in Time Passes... and Broken Stones. This Album is darker and deeper than Wild Wood and this may not suit the tastes of the Weller fans out there, but this album has in it's time so far become a essential part of any record collection and will inevitably become, to steal a more recent promotional phrase, a modern classic."
Pj Thorp | 03/05/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This one seems to get great reviews elsewhere, but to me it typified Paul's 1990s fear to recreate any diversity of sound. The montonous accoustic style of music here didn't please me nearly as much as his Style Council days. Having said that, it's just a matter of personal preference. I still think there are some great songs on this album, named after Paul's childhood neighbourhood."
A True Contender For Best Album of the Nineties
S. G. Toyne | England | 03/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With Stanley Road Paul Weller has managed to prove to his fans and his critics that he is still an important musician even in his solo days. He hasn't just written 12 good songs, instead, he's written one great album. A factor in any great album is the overall feel that perpetuates each song, making them all feel as though they deserve their place and complimenting the songs that come before and after them.
A mostly guitar driven album, Weller fuses good solos and riffs with his usual effective lyrics, often ending a song with a long instrumental that gently ushers in the next song, which gladly and competently carries the album along. However, there is the occasional song that primarily uses the piano evoking another great feel. Though these songs are quite different from the guitar based ones, they seem to come at just the right points in the album so that, not only are they a nice change of direction, but also they effortlessly fit in. To truly appreciate this fine album start at the beginning and just let it play on to the end. It far outweighs the sum of its parts, and as these parts are so good, you're in for a great journey.
The Changing Man- This was a hit in the UK and is a good indication into how this album will sound. There are some great little examples of guitar work going on here, more will follow throughout the rest of the tracks.
Porcelain Gods- This songs brings the mellow vibe with its gentle electric guitar opening. The highlights are the lyrics; `How disappointed I was to turn out after all, just a porcelain god, that shatters when it falls'.
Walk On Guilded Splinters- Another slow bluesy track that follows on nicely from the previous. Again, the lyrics shine above all in this song. Wellar really does have a way of writing some interesting lyrics and his delivery of them are always great. The track ends with a slow jam that trickles to the end. Not a great tune, more of a little jam session that made it onto the album.
You Do Something To Me-From the beautiful piano intro we immediately know that we are going to hear something different in this song than wat was heard in the previous tracks. Simple and effective lyrics and likewise in the piano and guitars make this song so beautiful. A major standout on the album, absolutely heaven.
Woodcutter's Son-Back with a rocking guitar intro, a piano quickly joins in and we're back with a more upbeat tempo. This tune is quite catchy, and Wellars gruff voice shines throughout. Again, another track that ends with a long jam.
Time Passes-A lovely intro, great lyrics and a lovely mellow feel to it. I always forget about this track whenever I think about this album, but when it comes on I just fall in love with it all over again.
Stanley Road-The intro will have you tappin your feat to the piano and drum, another catchy little number. Despite the fact that this is the title song, it isn't anything too special. There is nothing wrong with it but there isn't that certain somethin that makes it stand out.
Broken Stones-Broken Stones is another simple yet beautiful track. Wellar can write great songs with great guitar parts that rock and groove but songs like this prove he can strip it all down and write a track that has the beauty and passion that other artists can.
Out Of The Sinking-A very bluesy song and once again some good lyrics. This song really suits Wellar's style of singing, I find he has a really underrated voice.
Pink On White Walls-I really like this song, though it is by no means one of the best on this album. It surely is underrated, it is borderline mediocre but i think it just manages to get on the right sode of the line.
Whirlpools' End-Overral I dont rate this song, but there are some good parts to it. I find it really gets good about 2 minutes in. I do love the jam that appears at the end for at least 4 minutes. Would be nice to play along in the studio.
Wings Of Speed-The final song is a strange one to end with, it has a gospek feel and almost sounds like nothing else on the album, save for the piano that was present in some of the songs. I really love this song, again simplistic and beautiful, Paul's voice holds it's own and the background singing is just fabulous. This song is too short, it needs to have a few more minutes of it. I just love it."