Photo: Nicole Nodland / Courtesy of Big Hassle

Paul Weller – “Earth Beat” (Singles Going Steady)

Paul Weller's singular modes as a soul man, guitar hero, and techno devotee converge into a blissful jam about hope for the earth on "Earth Beat".

Mark Montgomery French: Paul Weller‘s singular modes as a soul man, guitar hero, and techno devotee converge into a blissful jam about hope for the earth. “It’s a new day in the morning / And the sun shines whilst we’re gone now / And my heart beats to my beat / Don’t burst me, oh I’m not slowing down.” It’s quite bittersweet to hear such a positive song about our planet during our sequester from a global plague. On the other hand, the earth probably appreciates humanity’s timeout. [8/10]

Ian Rushbury: It starts like a bit of retro-trip-hop, then it goes all Motown-y. The electric guitars are used judiciously and well, and Weller sounds better than he’s been for quite a while on this. If you’re expecting this record to sound like 90% of his back catalogue, you’ll leave disappointed. If, however, you still have a bit of a soft spot for the Style Council, you’ll dig it. [7/10]

Jonathan Frahm: Paul Weller has been enjoying something of a renaissance following 2018’s True Meanings. “Earth Beat” is a steady-going, uplifting track that keeps it going. Finding a crossroads between his new wave, pop, and electronic influences makes for a captivating sonic voyage. [8/10]

Steve Horowitz: We tend to think of the Earth as something solid beneath our feet and the rest of the universe out there in space. Paul Weller reminds us that our planet is just as out there as anywhere else. We are just part of the cosmos. The life on our world may give the beat, but that’s just one small part of what exists. [7/10]

Jordan Blum: He’s an artist I’ve heard of many times but never listened to. I dig the atmospheric and symphonic backdrop. It’s a good mixture of programmed and organic timbres, and the vocals blend together well, too. It’s catchy. I’m sort of getting a 1980s electronic rock vibe, and it reminds me of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”, and Steve Winwood’s overarching solo style. The coda is a nice touch as well. Overall, it’s an intriguing and ambitious composite of elements that’s kind of sobering but also kind of uplifting. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.60

“Earth Beat” is the first single from Paul Weller‘s upcoming album On Sunset out 12 June via Verve Forecast.