Spin - 3/03, p.1924 out of 5
- "...ILLUMINATION is the graying singer/songwriter's best work in years....Weller is clearly back in business..."
Q - 12/02, p.69
Included in Q Magazine's "The 50 Best Albums of 2002."
Uncut - 1/03, p.97Ranked #68
in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
Uncut - 12/02, p.152
"...Weller somehow keeps it fresh as a debut..."
Inital pressings of ILLUMINATION include a bonus DVD disc.
Personnel: Paul Weller (vocals, various instruments); Steve Cradock (acoustic & electric guitars); Aziz Ibrahim (guitar, sarod, tambora); Simon Dine (brass, sound effects); Seamus Beaghen (Hammond B-3 organ, Moog synthesizer); Noel Gllagher (bass, drums, percussion); Steve White (drums, percussion); Damon Minchella (bass); Carleen Anderson, Jocelyn Brown (background vocals).
As the acknowledged standard-bearer and champion of the mod aesthetic, Paul Weller has naturally always been a great lover of 1960s soul music. Not since the final Jam album, THE GIFT, however, has the genre's influence been so apparent in his own recordings. From the reverb-drenched horn loop and Hammond B3 stabs in the single, "It's Written in the Stars," to the Sam & Dave-like vocal-tradeoffs with the Sterophonics' Kelly Jones on the chugging "Call Me No. 5," ILLUMINATION recalls the gritty heyday of Stax and Muscle Shoals. Elsewhere, the Woking native continues to explore his solo career-era fascination with folk rock, psychedelia, and singer-songwriter music ("Who Brings Joy," "Illumination"), but even on these tunes, Weller's R&B-drenched singing adds a touch of Memphis to the otherwise very English proceedings.