Album: Ian Brown, My Way (Polydor)

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The Independent Culture

Ian Brown's sixth solo album – which, it's worth noting, is three times the total output of The Stone Roses – follows in much the same vein as its immediate predecessors Solarized and The World Is Yours.

Which is to say, loping psychedelic-techno-dub grooves expressing Brown's social and political musings with no great urgency or potency, albeit pleasantly enough. Most tracks adopt a mildly didactic attitude sometimes couched in semi-autobiographical terms: the triumphalist fanfares of "Crowning Of The Poor" hail the righteousness of poverty, "Just Like You" and "Own Brain" (an anagram of his name) extol the virtues of responsible individualism, "Laugh Now" and "So High" find him rejecting ridicule and treachery respectively, while in "Vanity Kills" and "For The Glory" he takes a dim view of excessive self-importance. Which is odd, given that many of these songs are flush with a self-satisfaction bordering on smugness, particularly if interpreted in the context of the fallout/feud resulting from the Roses' break-up. It's one of these, however, which furnishes the album's most satisfying moment: "Always Remember Me" has a melancholy, elegiac grandeur absent elsewhere, as Brown observes a lone figure – presumably former guitarist chum John Squire – "walking into the wilderness" whilst he himself contemplates the richer bounty of his own life.

Download this: Always Remember Me, Just Like You, Marathon Man