Top positive review
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Very underrated band and album!
on 8 August 2012
This album came out when I was in my first year at 6th form - we were left lamenting the demise of The Stone Roses the previous year, and once I learned that John Squire was returning to music so quickly, I purchased myself a copy
almost straight away.
This was at the tail-end of the Britpop phenomenon, and this album slotted seamlessly I thought into the genre. Well crafted interplay between the rhythm section, melodic vocals and psychedelic lyrics all the while carried through on Squire's trademark blistering guitar work.
The album itself was widely criticised upon release, being regarded as little more than a vehicle to showcase Squire's guitar talents - but that is an unfair appraisal as I find this is an album of upbeat, often humourous indie-pop gems.
From the Led Zep-esque opening riff of "I Want You To Know", the album skips along at a fair pace. Second track "Blinded By The Sun", which was a Top 10 hit is one of the album's standout moments. Things take a slightly bonkers diversion on "Suicide Drive", but the absolute show-stopper on this CD is the first single "Love Is The Law". This is a corker of a track, Squire's technical ability is brought to the fore from the get-go - culminating in a mind-crushing 4 minute solo at the end of the song. "Love Me And Leave Me", which was co-penned with none other than Liam Gallagher is a more mellow moment in the second half of the album, and was the last single to be released from it. The album was produced by Tony Visconti, known for his work with Bowie, T Rex and Thin Lizzy - and it's from the latter that finds the levels of guitar cranked up in the mix - by no means a bad thing to my ears, but it may not be to everyone's taste!
I have pretty much critiqued this album at length with various people over the years and it truly does polarise opinion. For every one in awe of Squire's ability and singer Chris Helme's soulful vocals, there will be plenty who think this CD is probably better used as a coaster or Frisbee.
However, if music of the indie persuasion is your thing, and you weren't around to witness their very ephemeral rise and fall during 1997 - you could do much worse than stick this in your basket!