There's normally some anticipation for a new Paul Weller album. Saturn's Pattern comes three years after Sonik Kicks and has been trailed on the web and various TV appearances.
The album's opener White Skies heads into psychedelic territory. Its followed by the title track which has a distinctive and very infectious 70s vibe that puts you in mind of raft of almost forgotten bands of the era (such as Curved Air, Atomic Rooster and Family). Then comes the glororiously melodic Going My Way, which Weller connoisseurs are agreed is one of the finest tunes he has ever written. Yes. It is that good.
Next up is the Stoogesesque Long Time and the sheer unadulterated funkiness of Pick It Up. Then the record moves into the more hypnotic Balearic beat of I'm Where I Should Be and the epic Phoenix, In The Car and the conclusion of These City Streets, which puts me in mind of his first solo outing from 92.
All in all, this is anaccomplished return to top form. In some ways less extrovert than some of its predecessors, the album covers the full range of the current Weller repertoire. Some are saying it's his best since Stanley Road. And you wouldn't argue with that.