V2 - 2005 - 43 minutes

Many have decided that Weller's new album marks a return to form, stopping off at various points from his four-decade career. While the latter assertion can be heard from the outset, the former is very wide of the mark.

Catchy and urgent, the singles 'Come On/Let's Go' and 'From the Floorboards Up' are the two strongest tracks on 'As Is Now'. Under them are two good singalongs ('Blink and You'll Miss It', 'Here's the Good News'), one fine moment of beauty-meets-belligerence ('Savages') and far too many of plodding mediocrity.

While Weller sounds at his best when he keeps the music lean and mean and summons up the anger of his youth, here he goes overboard with the slow, mellow songs and the result is the sonic equivalent of a middle age spread.

The bottom line is that plenty of lesser talents have come up with stuff as passable as what's on offer here - and even they'd know that Weller is capable of so much better.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Blink And You'll Miss It - Paper Smile - Come On/Let's Go - Here's the Good News - The Start of Forever - Pan - All on a Misty Morning - From the Floorboards Up - I Wanna Make It Alright - Savages - Fly Little Bird - Roll Along Summer - Bring Back the Funk (Pt 1 & 2) - The Pebble and the Boy