on 2 December 2008
When this came out it had very mixed reviews so when I bought it shortly afterwards having only heard Love Spreads and Your star Will Shine I was prepared for dissapointment.
However sitting in a darkened room with this on the headphones certainly told me all I needed to know about this great LP. From the very start of Breaking Into Heavens weird and wonderful middle of a swamp intro the Roses have your attention. Breaking into Heaven is a totally different sound to the Byrd like sound on the first album it's darker heavier but by no means poorer. After a tantalising 11 minute beginning you go into Driving South which has been used many a time on TV as background music, Soccer am ,Top Gear etc perfect driving guitar music with ian Brown rasping vocals telling us that he sure as hell aint pretty and he sure as hell can't sing-bit harsh but a nice twist on the usual self confidence. From here we get the sublime Ten storey Love Song which as many have said could have been slotted easily onto the debut LP. The track after this Daybreak changes the feel of the CD yet again fronm almost poppy to almost funky-love the slow down speed up tempo change and simplistic name checking of destinations 'from new york city to addis ababaaaa'. Nice tune which takes us onto the slower more thoughtful Your Star will Shine which is nice without blowing you away. Straight to the man is a bit more up tempo and is again nice without pulling up any trees, what it does do is keep the flow of the LP going.
Now the Roses being the Roses they don't settle for letting the whole package peter out they come back with a real blaster the high tempo technoesque Beggin You another track heard a lot outside the confines of the Cd. The next track Tightrope is a lovely acoustic number which you find yourself singing a lot after a few plays. After this we get back to the Guitar Rock with john squire proving why he was held in such high esteem as a guitarist. Firstly Good Times picks up the tempo again followed by my personal favourite the awesome 'Tears' which starts slowly with a nice bit of acoustic guitar in the background and then goes all electric on us. "Ive seen the future in the tracks of your tears' sings a wise sounding Ian forseeing the end of many a relationship!
'I've seen your severed head at a banquet for the dead all wrapped up for dinner looked so fine' How Do You Sleep is classic Stone roses with a fantastically acidic lyric that grabs you by the nads right from the start. Great song and fairly close to the style of the first album but yet a bit darker and less optimistic.
That's brings me onto the last track the majestic Love Spreads which was released as a single prior to the album release. The first time I heard this on Radio 1 (i think) I had tears in my eyes because i had waited so long for new material from these guys and they came back with something so different yet still so 'them' and yet so amazingly good.
In short (if you can't be arsed to go through my rambling review) if you liked the first CD or if you half like the idea of the Roses, their mystique and great guitar music buy this CD and treat it as a complete work not as individual tracks. You will not be dissapointed.
on 2 June 2015
I bought Second Coming when it first came out. I was then in my mid twenties, my musical tastes had changed over the years since their eponymous début had brought jangly guitars into my late teenage world. I thought this would take me back to those days but on a first listen I despised this sound, ejected the CD, and placed it back on my shelf to gather dust. Many years later the CD was dusted down and put into my car to give me something different to listen to. The decision came from coming across Love Spreads, liking the groove, and a desire to give Second Coming a second chance. Over the years, I had come across a wider range of music than I had as a teen, and instantly noticed them on this recording. Hints of John Fogerty and CCR, certainly Led Zeppelin, even some George Clinton funk. This album is a much more mature affair. While the first album sparkles, this gets down and dirty with some great funky basslines, powerful guitars, and more swagger than, well, more swagger than most Mancs. I wonder what would have happened had this been released earlier, perhaps stopping the rise of their understudies Oasis, and the lamentable britpop explosion. I don't think it would have made a difference, like the madchester scene before, The Stone Roses would have still been outside and beyond the scene. I also think it wouldn't have been the same album had it appeared earlier. The years in the record industry wilderness certainly shaped this album. Listening now in 2015, this album dates much less than its predecessor. I find the first album to be too jangly, too saccharin sweet now to listen to as a whole. It has to be broken up into individual tracks listened to in isolation. Second Coming though can still be listened to right through as an experience rather than a collection of moments.
on 17 April 2009
`Ten Storey Love Song' and `How Do You Sleep' aside, which hint at the pastoral beauty much loved on the Roses debut album, what we have for the most part here is a surprisingly varied and eclectic record.
`Second Coming' was largely critically dismissed when it came out, due to certain writers inability to compute the thundering Led Zeppelin riffs on here with the band who had made the likes of `Fools Gold', `Waterfall' and `She Bangs The Drums'. But John Squire's apparent hard rock obsession is only a part of the story.
`Begging You', a thundering techno influenced juggernaut of a song that appears halfway through this record, is `One Love' on steroids, probably the most forward looking track on this album. Clearly influenced by emerging acts like Underworld and The Chemical Brothers, it doesn't quite sound so exciting now, but nonetheless, rubbishes the idea that the Roses were `just another rock band' by this point.
Ian Browns only writing credits appear as a co-writer on `Daybreak', a blues based jam, and `Straight To The man', a JJ Cale-esque shuffle that wouldn't have sounded out of place on his first solo album, `Unfinished Monkey Business'.
We're treated to a minute or so of jungle noises at the start of the record before the lolloping funk bassline to `Breaking Into Heaven' kicks in, and we indulge ourselves in over eleven minutes of what can only be described as glorious, swampy funk rock, still one of the finest introductions to an album I've ever heard. `Driving South' follows, with it's gargantuan blues riffs riding on a cavalcade of enormous drums, before `Ten Storey Love Song' and its soothing, seductive tones take us back to the heady days of their debut.
These three tracks are amongst the finest in the bands canon, yet things take an inexplicable dip with`Daybreak', which would have been fine and better appreciated as a b side. Indeed, `Ride On', which appeared as the b side to `Ten Storey Love Song', is far superior and it's baffling to contemplate it's exclusion at the expense of this jam.
`Your Star Will Shine' didn't do much to win favour with the critics, lambasted as a pastiche of a Zeppelin ballad. It still sounds like a pastiche of a Zeppelin ballad, but it's a good one. A better variation on this theme, however, is `Tightrope'- a strangely wonky sounding campfire song that actually sounds like it was recorded around a campfire, and the kind of thing you can imagine a nascent Beta Band listening to inbetween copious amounts of spliff.
`Good Times' is a rollicking, raucous old fashioned rock n roll tune that was recorded live, in one take, and you can hear it as the song speeds up as the band literally let rip and go for it. `Tears' may or may not be an autobiographical tale of Squire's coke addiction, but it's a majestic piece of work, as two minutes or so of folksy lament give way to Squire at his self indulgent best. The beautiful `How Do You Sleep', and `Love Spreads', a tune Bobby Gillespie commented on as `the greatest comeback single of all time' finish off what is, for me, one of the most criminally critically underrated albums in the modern era of rock n' roll.
on 3 February 2010
This is not the best album ever made but it IS my favorite. For many years I preferred The Stone Roses but with age I gravitated more and more to the Second Coming. In places (e.g. Driving South and Tears) it has a very very heavy sound and that probably turned off the fans who liked the jingly jangly pop of their earlier singles. However, the improved production, layered guitars and bigger sound really makes the first album sound light weight by contrast.
The Second Coming has a depth that is only really revealed with repeated listens. In many respects, it's Squires'album, he wrote most of the tracks and his guitar playing dominates the music. In places, (e.g. Love Spreads and Good Times) it is absolutely virtuoso and compares with greats like Hendrix. It's definately an album that's dominated by the music rather than the vocals but in places (e.g. Tightrope) the lyrics are just pure poetry. Browns snearing, rasping, accented delivery is perfect for the sound.
Whilst not as immediate as other records, the songs are definately of a consistently high standard and the album only seems to dip with middle tracks Star Will Shine and Straight to the Man. My favorite track is actually one that I would routinely skip over when I first bought the album. Daybreak. Their playing on that is amazing and every single listen seems to reveal another hidden nuance. Most will probably prefer Ten Storey Love Song which is the most 'poppy' track and the most like the first album.
It's probably a marmite album that will suit certain tastes. Personally, I love it.
on 21 February 2006
You just can't win with critics can you. When this came out they pretty much gave it a right old pasting, laying into John Squire for being a self indulgent fretw***** with a Led Zep fixation. Then again, they would've slagged the Roses off if they'd come out with something similar to their debut.
Granted, there are strong echoes of Jimmy Page here but who cares? It seems it's OK to rip off The Beatles, the Stones, The Who and The Kinks but a hard rock band...God forbid!!! Anyway, this is generally a damn good album and had it been the Roses debut or by any of their contemporaries it would've been been much better received.
on 19 December 1999
O.K. We all know about how good the first album was, but this is the follow up to "one of the best albums ever". This album took an agonising 5 years to conceive - 5 years!!! That's half a decade!!!! That's 1/20 of a Century!!!! Some band's careers don't even last for 5 years. So, the big question, what is the second coming actually like? Well, I have never been disappointed with this album. The first 3 songs, Breaking into Heaven, Driving South and Ten storey love song, pick up where "The Stone Roses" left off in that golden summer of 1989. Tunes!! That's what it all boils down to and top ones at that. As this album progresses through it's many twists and turns, it becomes a confused and flawed beast, but comes out on top with it's 5 stars intact. How can an album get a 5 star review, when it contains songs as poor as the laughable "straight to the man" and the limp "How do you sleep"??? This album contains 12 songs, 10 of which easily stand along side anything from the first album, which is commonly deemed one of the best albums ever. Infact, I'll even stick my neck out and state that "Begging you" is better than anything by any band. The Stone Roses nearly killed themselves and each other during the making of this album. If you listen closely, you can clearly hear the tension, confusion, paranoia, drugs, fights, tears and insecurity that dominated their lives during the studio sessions. But at the end of the day The Stone Roses came out on top with a decent album. Don't listen to negativity in relation to this beautifly crazed beast of an album. If people don't like this album, it's because they just haven't got the time to get into it. But once this album hits you, it won't stop sounding better with every listen - even with two dodgy tracks. Buy it, give it a chance and get into it.
Oh lord, This happened to me in the 90s - over expectation leading to disappointment. The Roses are coming back in 2012 and I am giddy with excitement. So much so I dusted this down and gave it a spin today. And I find myself asking "why was I disappointed?".
This is a cracking rock album, starting with three of their very finest songs. Breaking Into Heaven is a huge uplifting opener, Driving South goes for the blues, and then 10 Storey Love Song starts chiming and we could be back in the grooves of the (utter classic) debut. There is a dip next, Daybreak is a formless shuffle that goes nowhere, and Straight To The Man sounds unfinished, like scraps of several Happy Mondays songs bolted together. They are separated by the very pretty, very Beatlesy Your Star Will Shine. The home straight is fantastic. Starting with the thumping Begging You (I seem to have a dozen remixes of this lying around) and the (Rolling) Stones sound-alike Tightrope...I'm starting to think this may be a lost classic. Good Times comes next, a great track but not sure if the key suits Ian's vocal. I think I remember this sounded like a dogs dinner live though. Followed by my favourite at the time: Tears. Its the most subtle of the tunes on here, maybe the song is a little cluttered but the tune and the guitar solos are beautiful. How Do You Sleep is good-not-great song, and sets the album up nicely for the rock monster of a closer that is Love Spreads.
Its more varied than the debut for sure and much more uneven. It's not the classic that the first album was but it has some seriously good high points. Now, excuse me while I count down the days to Heaton Park. And maybe a third album.
on 11 October 2016
Some good songs on this album but not a classic by any means. With elements of occasional brilliance the album is a bit lame in places and I find myself losing interest. The vinyl reissue is ok and the album artwork is more effective in 12 inch size opposed to the original cd version. Stand out song for me is Begging You.
on 19 March 2001
There has been a lot of crap written about this being an anti-climax. Well, it is. In a way. It is not as good as the first album, but is any album? This album has some wonderful moments. What is astounding is the sheer diversity of tracks. Ok, it has it's Zeppelin-esque moments like the fantastic 'Love Spreads and the poor 'Driving South'. However, 'Ten Storey Love Songs' soars like the Roses of old and 'Begging You' is a huge techno-rock monster - probably the closest they ever came to making a pure dance record. 'Breaking Into Heaven' has a lazy swagger and some great vocals from Ian Brown (on this album, HE CAN SING!). 'How Do You Sleep' is pure melodic brilliance and 'Daybreak' is probably the best example of this band's technical ability: a loose funky jam where every member shines. Ok, it proved not to be the 'second coming' everybody thought it would be and the Roses arrogance in taking 5 years to come up with this record worked against them. But once the hyped has died, what we are left with is a record; a damn good one at that. If you want to hear a band disintegrate in style, buy 'Second Coming'.
on 14 February 2014
While it isn't as accessible as the first album which preceded it, second coming is a well crafted album which innovates upon the original. The darker style from the tracks are probably not what everyone wanted but the darker atmosphere of second coming is definitely a strongpoint.
Building upon the fact that this album isn't accessible as the stone roses self proclaimed debut album, songs such as Breaking into heaven and foz which are heavily solo based May put off many people but overall the soundtrack is brilliant and features some of the stone roses best work. I would recommend this album despite some of its shortcomings.
+ Great soundtrack which features some of the stone roses best work.
+ Innovative and builds upon the previous album.
+ Driving south.
+ Love Spreads.
- Not as accessible as the original album.
- Less Memorable songs.
4 Stars (out of 5)