Ian Brown : Music Of The Spheres

Cosmic, man. Former >strong>Stone Rose continues erratic path...

The mysteries of our galaxy are many and unknowable but one thing is

certain – the solar system doesn’t jam. The planets do not noodle. The

cosmos would never, ever be seen [I]grooving[/I]. Yet whenever musicians

explore the vast space that surrounds us, their narcissistic desire to

mould the universe in their own image goes into overdrive and Jupiter

and Neptune are somehow forced into bandanas, beats and earnest guitar-

stool grimaces.

Thanks to his resilient fanbase and his survivor’s tenacity, Ian Brown

is now The Michael Jackson Of Indie, a man whose persistent messiah

complex has assumed the white raiments of the spiritual star-philosopher.

[I]”Fantastic expectations / Amazing revelations”[/I] he sings on ‘F.E.A.R’, a

song that – like the other tracks – might be fine if the sheen of

embarrassment could be skimmed away. No song is quite right: a lyric

about angels or elephants here, a trip-hop beat there, and even the

Milky Way would blush.

At least Brown is trying to live up to his standards. You can hear

‘Music Of The Spheres’ striving to rip the fabric of reality – it’s in

the gentle bubbling drone of ‘Hear No See No’ or the ‘Glass Onion’

psychedelia of ‘Shadow Of A Saint’ – but the Castenada-addled guitars of

‘El Mundo Pequeno’ and ‘Forever And A Day’ are, perhaps fittingly, the

kind of stuff hippy greybeards play on their California ranches. When

the possibilities of the space-time continuim are endless, sticking with

‘Music Of The Spheres’ would just be square.

Victoria Segal