Paul Weller

Other Aspects: Live at the Royal Festival Hall

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Paul Weller didn't play many dates in support of his 2018 album True Meanings. Not counting his summer festival appearances, which were all delivered prior to the album's September release, he gave just five concerts: two in the Netherlands, one in Belgium, and a two-night stand at London's Royal Festival Hall in October, where he played with the support of a full orchestra. Those two dates are the basis of Other Aspects: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, a double-CD accompanied by a DVD. Weller deliberately avoided familiar material for these concerts. All of True Meanings save three songs is performed (the mid-album sequence of "Bowie," "Wishing Well," and "Come Along" is absent) and he eschews crowd-pleasers from both his solo career and the Jam in favor of moody, lush reworkings of "Tales from the Riverbank" and "Private Hell." These renditions glide into place alongside all the other orchestrations, which seem suspended at twilight; they're never opulent or ornate, but rather warmly enveloping. Such cozy, reflective environs separate Other Aspects from the numerous other live Weller sets. Against all odds, Weller has delivered a live album as quietly adventurous and resonant as the studio album it supports.

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