Ian Brown: My Way

Ex Stone Roses front man and bipedal ape, Ian Brown, returns with his 6th solo offering. I really enjoyed Brown’s first two solo albums so I’ve kept with him, but despite retaining those familiar vocals, still undistinguishable from the Stone Roses’ classic debut, I’m left pondering what could have been.

Without John Squire on guitar, Brown, as the album title suggests, does it his way, and that way invariably involves synthesisers, loops and processed beats. There’s nothing wrong with stretching the boundaries and looking to take things in a new direction but Brown seems to have set off without a map and consequently I’m not really sure where he is right now.

Opening track “Stellify” is engaging enough with its boppy keyboard and energy levels are retained with the equally bouncy “Just Like You”.

Brown’s cover of “In the year 2525” is not terribly dissimilar to the original which make it instantly likeable, but I prefer my cover versions to add a new dimension rather than just being a facsimile.

The remainder of the album fails to provide anything to really engage me. Perhaps the most memorable thing will be the truly awful album cover. Is there a prize for worst album cover ever? If so, this has to be in the running.