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Music of the Spheres

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Album Review

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. There's no reason for Brown to abandon this style of music, and there's also no reason that he should feel the need to match the glories of The Stone Roses. Ian Brown's solo discography includes nothing but vibrant, organic albums. Each is worth exploring nearly as much as those of his former band. Considering the undeniably genius of the Stone Roses, that's extremely high praise.

Customer Reviews

An Epic

Ian Brown is stuff of legends without him there would be no oasis or any other of our top indie bands we have with us now.... This album has to be one of his greatest bits of work every song has meaning on one of those dark grey day's this album will just left you.....

The Gravy Train

Music of the Spheres considers the best elements of Monkey business and golden greats, and produces a distinctive and original sound which from listening in 2009, encapsulates the 00's decade. Electro, psychadelica, acoustic, soaring melodies and lyricism combine to create a compact and extremely absorbing and interesting listen. The obvious stand outs include 'F.E.A.R', 'Whispers' and 'Bubbles', But when you look a little deeper, the quality of the other tracks notably the low key focus of the brilliant 'The Gravy Train' (My favourite Brown track), conmtrasted to the sweeping euphoria and optimism of the closing track 'Shadow of a Saint'. This is the blue print that front men thinking of going solo will follow for years to come. Maybe Noel better get a look in now. This album is quite simply inexplicably brilliant and remains Browns' seminal work.

Atmospheric stuff

The opener, F.E.A.R, is one of my favourite tracks of all time,it just flows brilliantly. the rest of the album is some of the best work Ian Brown has ever done. Although this will never be as revolutionary as the stone roses, it is the highlight of his solo career


Born: 20 February 1963 in Ancoats, Gt. Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The frontman for one of the most revered British bands of the 1980s and '90s, Ian Brown symbolized the arrogant cocksureness of his mouthpiece, the Stone Roses. Although the group released one of the three or four most influential records of the decade in 1989 (their debut, at that), they slowly imploded during the early '90s and released only one more album before splitting up. Guitarist/songwriter John Squire formed a new band, Seahorses, while bassist Mani (Gary Mounfield) joined Primal Scream....
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Music of the Spheres, Ian Brown
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