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IAN BROWN - Solarised   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Sunday, 19 September 2004
A Second Coming .....or is it Fools Gold?

 

There's a truly brilliant greatest hits album at the end of Ian Brown's career. Something that could stand up with the best of The Stone Roses. But that's a long way off. Instead, "Solarised" is just another Ian Brown solo album, one that turns up every 18 months or so in Brownie boys release schedule - and lets give the boy his due - he's prolific, and there's no quality drop in his work.

 

You can see where the muse went when The Stone Roses split up. At the time the smart money was on John Squire, but after The Seahorses, and two solo albums - one, for fucks sake, a concept album about paintings, the smart money defected over to Ian Brown. And rightly so.

 

With his solo albums though, you know exactly what you're going to get. Ethnic rhythms, detuned, alien guitar courtesy of ex-Roses axeman Aziz Ibrahim, funky-as-shit basslines, and weird wooshing noises that sound like they've been beamed in from 2084. Oh, and some manc guru guy singing about spirituality, the third world, and other concepts so far beyond anyone's understanding that he's practically Yoda with a set of decks and a mic. But for all that, I'd much rather someone try and make great art that yearns, reaches for greatness, attempts something, anything, aspires to brilliance, than fails and sits in it's lowly indie ghetto rumbling on about Sally and Smokey, and rum old slappers.

 

Sometimes "Solarised" falls well short of it's intended target, riding a wave of the odd, ethereal, non-existent rhythms and thin melody that practically vanishes into the ether. And other times (on "no number"),  the songs are forceful declarations of intent. "No ID Card topped a hijacked jet" is as simple a precis as it gets. And by fuck, it makes you wanna shake your shit and shake your fist at the same time.

 

"Keep What ya Got" - the first single - is nothing more than a remix of an old song Noel Gallagher stuck on the X-Files soundtrack, with Ian Brown singing. It's a great track, and yet, at the same time, so very very blah. "Solarised" overall is nothing new, but another Ian Brown album : a quality piece but one that could've been recorded anytime in the past decade. 

 

Time perhaps for Ian to keep what ya got, and try something new for a change? It's gold alright, but are we fools? Maybe next time tho', maybe then it'll be what the world is waiting for. But not this time......

 

 

Comments
ciaran
Written by Guest on 2004-09-22 07:31:49
not his best but still just Ian brown. its different to anything else on the scene these days
ThE SLaYeR
Written by Guest on 2005-06-04 20:22:45
Good Guy .. pity he's a Manc..

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