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Once a punk iconoclast, now a pop icon, former Jam/Style Council frontman Paul Weller is a peerless synthesist of ’60s and ’70s rock, soul, and R&B. On his third solo effort, Stanley Road, Weller, like his stylistic forebears, the Small Faces and the Who, reinterprets the black American music of the ’60s. Weller adds liberal amounts of Traffic and Revolver-era Beatles to the mix as well. Road‘s best track may be “Out of the Sinking,” its chorus ecstatic and inspired, although more thoughtful compositions such as the reverent “Broken Stones,” with its sparse instrumentation and retro backbeat, have charms of their own. Weller sings with authority throughout, only occassionally stumbling over the conventions of his sources. On “Woodcutter’s Son,” for example, antiseptic honky-tonk and a pastoral persona prove a poor combination. Weller has also developed an unfortunate affinity for sailing analogies—he often finds himself fleeing a world he doesn’t understand by boat. Fortunately, most of Road finds Weller on dry land.