Illumination - Paul Weller

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Illumination is heartfelt, lost-in-the-'60s songcraft, so perfect in style and sound you might think you’re in the cavernous halls of London’s BBC studios, home to a zillion performances of the Beatles, the Stones, the Faces, and yes, the Jam. When the past sounds this good, why not revel in it?
  2. Best of all, it all feels effortless, from the production to the songwriting.
  3. Interesting variations on classic pop music, delivered with fire and wisdom.
  4. Britrock's grumpy uncle has regained his gnarled spirit here and fans will feel all the better for it.
  5. Easily the most satisfying album of his decade-plus solo career, Illumination marks the first time in ages that Weller has sounded at ease in his own skin: mellow, upbeat, yet aggressive and gritty in all the right places.
  6. 80
    Illumination is already being described by the Weller massive as the best solo album of his career. You'll hear few arguments with that from this corner. [Oct 2002, p.118]
  7. [His] new-found security has enabled Weller to refine his art in the manner of Travis and all those accused of making the same record over and over again. [Oct 2002, p.113]
  8. Weller fans can once again breathe a sigh of relief, for the man's still got it.
  9. The soft touch sometimes leaves no mark, but when Weller dominates the mix with his acoustic picking and rich, raspy voice on "Bag Man" and the spiritually searching title track, the results are simply glowing.
  10. Weller takes a small step forward artistically, building ever so slightly on his sturdy foundation at a time when he's on a songwriting winning streak.
  11. The ex-Jam frontman careens from folky piffle to respectable bar-band stomp.
  12. 60
    Too wholesome for some, perhaps, but the melodies are reassuringly strong. [Oct 2002, p.96]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Barbara-
    May 14, 2003
    just listen to it. esp. steve cradock's guitar parts. amazing.
  2. erat
    Feb 10, 2003
    Boring, superficial & laughable. Overrated.
  3. GaryW
    Dec 24, 2002
    After a couple of disapointments in Heavy Soul & especially Heliocentric, Weller has come up with his most spectacular album since the Jam's epic All Mod Cons in . Every track is a gem. A beautiful work of art. Full Review »