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IAN BROWN

Ian Brown

Ripples

    Ian Brown's comeback record is everything you'd want from the funky monkey. Care-free, breezy, uplifting vibes with words that mix the cosmic with a conscience, this record was made almost totally independently. Just Ian, his sons and his old engineer provide that unique blend of the groovy, quirky, and endlessly catchy that we've all come to love and expect.

    There's mellow, soulful, bluesy funkers, a rock reggae cover, a reggae reggae cover, a couple of slinky, bouncy, elastic shufflers, some massive, psych-tinged slowies (Syd meets Lennon!) and his most Roses sounding tune so far: evidently a ballad ABOUT The Roses (insert broken-hearted emoji here!?)

    Soundwise this is Ian's most beautifully produced record by a mile. Warm, fat and analogue, with killer basslines and a big bottom end, there's a sparseness in the textures but a depth and width in the mix that's more akin to late 70's reggae than any old 'indie' rock. Ripples is all about the SPACE. Ian's voice and words, as charismatic and enigmatic as ever, are central to it all. And he's never sounded better. Self produced, self written (bar 3 co-writes with his sons. What could be more natural?) and with zero session musicians in sight, this feels like Unfinished Monkey Business, the Second Chapter. But with way better songs, way lusher production; a glorious combo of Tunes, space and sound. The dream belongs to the dreamers!

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition indies only coloured vinyl. Heavyweight white vinyl, spined sleeve, printed inner sleeve.

    LP Info: Black heavyweight vinyl, spined sleeve, printed inner.

    CD Info: Jewel case, 16 page booklet.

    Ian Brown

    First World Problems

      Ian Brown has released a brand new single, ‘First World Problems’, his first solo material in nine years. The single precedes the new album ‘Ripples’, which will be released on February1, 2019. Played mostly by Ian, but aided by two of his sons, this  return to pop bodes well for his forthcoming new LP.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: Bouncy, baggy, uplifting vibes, a top melody and cool message make this a freed-up, groovy return for the erstwhile (but soon to be reinstated!) King Monkey.

      Ian Brown

      Music Of The Spheres

        Before Music of the Spheres was released, Ian Brown touted it as a return for him to the peak form of his former band, the Stone Roses. As things go in the U.K., many members of the British music press jumped on the comments and appropriated Brown's views as their own. Realistically, Music of the Spheres is a strong, mature album, befitted with lush, exhilarating production that easily fits alongside Unfinished Monkey Business and Golden Greats, but it doesn't introduce anything revolutionary or match the excellence of The Stone Roses. The only thing that seems new for Brown on Music of the Spheres is that a number of the songs sound like minimalist tone poem explorations and that he sings in Spanish on "El Mundo Pequeno." One example of the minimalism is "Hear No See No," where Brown accompanies spare electronic notes with whispers of the title lyrics. But the album is at its strongest when he reaches for the inspired hooks and choruses that are his bread and butter. "F.E.A.R." is particularly compelling, with its lush string sounds and Brown's insanely catchy repetition of the letters that make up the song's title. "Stardust" and "Shadow of a Saint" are the album's other standouts, where Brown concocts frazzled poetry like, "I'm made from stardust/The same DNA as stardust," and intones about the "wings of an angel." Less bombastic than Golden Greats and more focused than Unfinished Monkey Business, Music of the Spheres is brimming with charm and accomplished, polished songcraft. 

        Cheeky title, but what do you expect? This collects all his singles plus his two excellent collaborations with UNKLE. There's also three re-recorded, and far superior takes on a couple of B-sides and the gorgeous "Forever And A Day." As a romantic lover of the old '45' this is probably Ian's favourite LP that he's done. The photos and artwork are lush and the songs themselves are super-vibrant, catchy and groovy. If you only get one IB album then you better make it this. If you're a fan you'll be made-up with the new versions, and you can finally get to offload that dodgy second UNKLE LP!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLtd LP Info: Limited edition double vinyl.


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