Picks and Pans Review: Heavy Soul

updated 10/06/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/1997 01:00AM

Paul Weller

By emoting so impressively on their current releases, artists like Lisa Stansfield, Jamiroquai and Robyn have extended R&B's old blue-eyed soul tradition in Europe and Britain. Their American counterparts haven't sounded as soulful in years. Neither has Paul Weller, whose latest album brings the English singer-songwriter back to the forefront of his genre. This isn't the sort of superslick, assembly-line stuff that some performers try to pass off as true soul. Weller, with his finely weathered voice, infuses gently rocking tunes like "Up in Suze's Room" and "Science" with raw, bluesy grit, making Heavy Soul a cross between B.B. King and classic Steve Winwood. And boy does his six-string sing: The wailing "Heavy Soul (Pt. 2)" is guaranteed to send hearts aflutter, and Weller never even opens his mouth. (Island)

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