Ian Brown Music Of The Spheres

Since the demise of the Stone Roses, Ian Brown has been releasing some truly mind-expanding music. His first two albums were dark, psychedelic and synthetic sounding, nothing along the lines of his former band. Without the help of John Squire, Brown has gradually mastered his own distinct sound, aiming more towards the electronic, dub and reggae music he so prefers. Most obvious from the title of this release is that it is his most calming effort yet, focusing more on the universe, stars and the galaxy. After his first album showed his independence as a solo artist, and his second detailed his time spent in the famous Strangeways prison (he apparently caused some mischief onboard a plane), Brown's focus now is on peace and spirituality. Brown's music has even been improved by, of all things, his marriage, with his wife inspiring him to sing a song in Spanish. "El Mundo Pequeño" is probably his most distinguished solo moment to date. With a quivering backdrop of delayed drumbeats, Brown's voice sounds extremely comfortable singing another language. Though he still pushes his music further with each album, it still isn't enough to make him what he was over a decade ago. He may be seen as a survivor of his old band's ruins, but his solo music still needs to improve on the fact that his two best songs have been Michael Jackson covers, because that's not saying too much. (Polydor)