5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2007
Ever since he released 'Unfinished Monkey Business' he has been making his own musical strides, constantly producing innovative music. 'Unfinished Monkey Business' and 'Golden Greats' come from the same roots as much of the Stone Roses stuff, whereas 'Music Of Spheres', 'Solarized' and 'The World Is Yours' are a huge leap away in terms of musical makeup.
Damian Alburn is another artist who arguably has jumped from one style to another with apparent ease, the Gorillaz project is a huge success and it is people like Ian Brown and Damian Alburn who are the first great musicians to appear from the rubble of the fallen Brit Pop empire.
Ian Brown's latest offering is solid. Not his most spectacular release but nevertheless good. Ian Brown continually is morphing with his arrangement and delivery and this album is no different. The string section that we first heard back on F.E.A.R in 2002 has returned and features on most of the album. Nearly all tracks, including 'Sister Rose' and 'Save Us' are built round the core of an orchestra jamming with a dirty broken beat and Brown's lazy lyrical delivery. It works too, the lyrics are as politically charged and dreamy as ever.(See 'Street Children lyrics - "Wish that I could scoop; all of those children in my arms; give the love they need; and protect them all from harm;") Some of the songs like 'Eternal Flame' have an almost R'n'B feel about it.
This album is a rather laid back chilled affair, the funky guitar riffs on 'Sister Rose' is as upbeat and rousing as it gets, but that is not a bad thing. Once again Brown has moved with the times and not content in keeping safe in familiarity. Would recommend this album to anyone with an open mind and has liked the two previous albums Brown has released.
*** Like :- Ian Brown -thankfully **
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2007
Get past the fact that despite some of the subject matter already sounding a little old hat, given that so many other artists have already worn out the skin on an already heavily beaten drum - the War in Iraq, the Church, suffering in the 3rd world et al and forgive the man his indulgence, because no matter what you say, these issues are still relevant and still continue unchallenged or unresolved.
Personally, I think this album is superb. Ian Brown is very much like Mark E. Smith of The Fall - he never gives his fans (or rather fans who cling desparately to the memory of the Stone Roses - f*ck off and give the man a break. The Roses are DEAD. Period.) exactly what he thinks they would really like or expect and instaead throws them a curve ball to contend with. That's the beauty of his music - his constant evolution (nice 'Primate' link).
This album is no different. It doesn't push boundaries but it doesn't kiss the arse of the current "mainstream" either. I believe one of Ian Brown's favourite albums of all time is Marvin Gaye's seminal "What's Going on" and in my mind there is no doubt that "The World is Yours" is heavily influenced, to the point of plagiarising subject matter, by this album. I'd also imagine that many reviewers reactions (not necessarily on Amazon) to it's release were pretty similar to Berry Gordy's at Motown when Marvin Gaye explained the concept of "What's Going On" i.e "What the f*ck IS going on!
This is Ian Brown's contemporary take on Gaye's Motown classic, it also takes in a lot of '70's Blaxploitation Soul/Funk (Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, etc), the lush orchestral arrangements in particular (in fact other than Drums and Bass, other instruments are very sparsely used) which works perfectly from a historic perspective and the evolution of 'Black' music, when you consider the Hip Hop beats which underpin many of the songs.
This album will ultimately benefit from a retrospective perspective - time will show this to be one of the best, if not the best, Ian Brown album - in fact it could be argued that IS a retrospective perspective on an era of music that was underpinned by the album that inspired this album - "What's Going On."
Anyway just buy it. It's a great chill out record. Best Track for me "Some Folks are Hollow."
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2007
In his heyday with the Stone Roses, Brown was often asked what he considered to be the greatest album of all time, and invariably he always answered that it was "What's Goin' On", the great social- political commentary opus by Marvin Gaye- an album that outlined the ills of the day- poverty, war, homelessness, the apathy towards the common man from the rulers governing the world. If this sounds familiar, it is because Ian Brown has made a very brave attempt to make "What's Goin' On" part 2- brave, firstly, because he could never be considered a great singer, but also because he has set himself up for ridicule.
Detractors will point out the apparent bluntness of the lyrics. "Save us from the imbeciles that rule the world", "These are illegal attacks so bring the soldiers back", "get your life on track", etc. etc. but the whole point of this album is not meant to be an excersice in arch witticism or baleful intellectual posturing. It's meant to be profound and sincere. If it makes you cringe, as some reviewers such as Dan Cairns from The Times have pointed out, then that is probably because you're too comfortable sipping your champagne and blowing your nose from cocaine abuse to care.
Musically, the album is Browns best yet, with inch perfect hip hop beats and gorgeous strings the order of the day. The stand out tracks, for me are "Some Folks Are Hollow", "On Track", "Eternal Flame (sounding uncannily like a Dr. Dre production), "Goodbye To The Broken", and of course, the recent Bush baiting single, "Illegal Attacks".
"What's Goin' On" is some album to live up to- and Brown, let's be honest, was never going to match it. We should salute him for caring enough to attempt it, however. It's a damn fine album, if not a great one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2007
ian brown has done it again!! he has come up with a quality new album no, not in the mould of his other stuff but this works!! he has mixed his own great lyrics with the hip hop beats and the string quartet and it does work!! there is.nt really a weak track on the cd but highlights for me are the world is yours,Sister Rose ,Eternal Flame ,Feeding Of The 5000 ,Some Folks Are Hollow ,Me And You Forever. but the brilliant illegal attacks is the track of the album browny shoots straight from the lip and the lyrics really hit home! just go buy it, it's is different to what he's done before but it's brilliant
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2007
To me a new Ian Brown album is always an event and this latest from the monkey king doesn't disapoint. As with Solarised, Brown's songs mix the personal with the political and he does it extremely well. This is a man with something to say and maybe some of his opinions are controversial but at least he has the balls to say what he thinks - even if he sometimes expresses himself simplistically. Some critics have said the album is overly orchestrated but I don't agree. The strings and brass work well with the funky beats that brown's tight band have nurtured over a 10 year period. I'm listening to it a lot and it gets better each time!
Brown's solo career has now lasted almost as long as his time in the Roses - his music and vision have progressed. Who would have thought that when the music press wrote him off when the Roses collapsed back in 1996?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ambitious, powerful, and unique - the spirit of The Stone Roses lives on.
Who would ever have put the smart money on Ian Brown being the one to come out of The Stone Roses as the 'winner'? Whilst John Squire vanished into mediocre pub rock, and now seems content to sell art prints of old record covers at £200 a time, Brown followed his muse and pursued his vision.
Following on from The Greatest (modestly titled), "The World Is Yours" continues the tradition of Brown as a solo artist, furrowing a unique blend of world music, epic strings, and distinctly British vocals. Musically, Brown is now a world away from his former band : there's no trace of the skinny white boy indie in his current music.
It's also a mile away from his earlier solo work : this occupies a space of expansive, relaxed beats and a lyrical mystical vision that is unmatched by anyone else. Aided and abetted by Ex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook, and Andy Rourke of The Smiths, one could be forgiven for thinking that this elpee would be a rampaging rock beast, when it is very far from such... conventional thinking. Brown intones the kind of meaningless-meaningful philosophy that is his raison d'etre over the panorama of sound that soothes and informs. There's little in the way of musical evolution from his previous albums, but that's not to say there needs to be. The initial blueprint is good enough, and now Brown is refining it. Armed with a politically aware, strongly liberal bent, the album also tackles - one might say bravely - the current world political situation.
You can look in todays culture and ask yourself - where are the protest songs? The world is crying out for the modern day Dylan, the contemporary Cohen... to artistically deconstruct and lambast the warmongers in an artistic statement that is both a great work and morally exact. No chance. This generation is spineless, toothless, too busy moaning about how good you look on the dancefloor to care that the world is collapsing around their ears. It's a shame then that the nearest thing to a mainstream protest song is the blunt "Illegal Attacks" which is a lyrical jackhammer punch-in-the-mouth with the subtlety of a rock in a cop's face.
"The World Is Yours" is ambitious, powerful, and unique vision that is much wider than the musically and lyrically limited ghetto of 'cool' music made by dumb kids who deal in minutae of faux indie-labels. Oasis wish they could be even a fraction as good as this - and Oasis know they will never come near. Ian Brown shows the imitators how it can be done. And that scares them
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2007
As a teenager my musical bread and butter were bands like the Stone Roses, Charlatans and Happy Mondays so I will always be a fan of the genius that is Ian Brown.
However, as I've matured so has the music of Ian Brown. This is one hell of an album. Full of powerful lyrics but surprisingly easy listening and toe-tapping at the same time. There's not a bad track on the whole album.
Some prefer the hard hitting guitars of his earlier stuff but I equally love the classical elements in this album.
I live in Australia and I had a bit of a job getting hold of a copy. So if you're sitting on the fence: Buy this album !!!! It's a shining example of what British artists are capable of.
on 26 September 2007
cool record. if you like ian brown you will be happy. simple as that.
the mans transformation (physically & musically) from the stone roses debut is now pretty startling. the main sound on this record is that of orchestral strings, some programmed beats and brown's musings on all things from 'the war' to nazi gold (taken by the catholic church) and on to love, life and freedom....
there are occasional guitar lines, but thankfully the squire influenced noodling is nowhere to be heard. really a pretty impressive record and great to see someone producing original ideas and music & creating their own path. who would have thought ian brown would become one of the lasting artists of his generation?
[interesting first review - see below - i guess if you had bought this rather than downloaded it you would see the man has plenty of people helping out with the music... but, oh well]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2007
What an album! I should point out that I am extremely biased as I'm a HUGE Ian Brown fan, but this really is a masterpiece. The liberal use of strings throughout the whole album gives it an epic feel, couple that with some smooth hip-hop beats and, of course, the King Monkey's sublimely controversial lyrics, and the end result is simply staggering. Personally I would say this is his finest album to date, and I would not say that lightly, so if you're already a fan of Mr. Brown, you will love this album. I will admit that if you're not a fan of his than a lot of the album's clout may go straight over your head, but I would still urge you to give it a listen as you may just become a regular follower. Regarding the bonus disc, yes it is an instrumental version of the album so if thats not to your taste save a few quid and buy the cheaper version, but the packaging of this double disc one is a much better addition to your collection.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2007
It's early days to be casting judgement on an album, and only time will tell how The World is Yours matches up to previous efforts. The potential to be great is definitly there with an expansive sound, orchestral crescendos and an eclectic mix of contributors. Lyrical content is blunt, honest, straight-forward, simplistic, rhythmical and beautifully effective. Artwork is stylish, minimalist and makes for a nice package, painting Ian Brown as the iconic urban guerrilla for a disillusioned population. The idea of including instrumental versions is a nice touch and is well suited to the grand sounds and 'nights in white satin' esque ebb and flow of the record. As before, Ian Brown continues to create interesting, challenging, distinctive music that is a kalaidescope of influences refracted through a man who stands alone.