I remember finding it very difficult to get hold of this c.d. when it was first released over here in Ireland.The reason for this was that like me so many people were just so enthralled by the opening track and first single F.E.A.R.,that we just had to get hold of this album at all costs.It was sold out in lot's of stores.It's one of the best songs of the last year and had the same impact of Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony' in that it's a track driven by one of the most amazing string sections you're likely to hear.His vocals sound truly wonderful and the acoustic guitar and keyboard effects make it irresistable.Unfortunately on this album it's the opening track and totally over-shadows everything that comes after.It also meant that once people who'd heard this song had bought the c.d.-well the sales soon dropped off dramatically afterwards. Yet this album has plenty of fine moments.It shows a real progression from his last album as he experiments with some new sounds and...
Every album Ian Brown puts out, whether with the Roses or solo, is significantly different from the other, although they follow a logical evolutionary path. Brown has covered a lot of ground, from the sugar coated pop of the Stone Roses debut, the rock of the Second Coming, the experimentation of Unfinished Monkey Business, the beats driven Golden Greats, and now the ambient chill-out minimalism of Music of the Spheres. Only the Beatles covered more ground. Although it is not as accessible as the Roses material or the classic Golden Greats, it boasts two great tracks in F.E.A.R. and El Mundo Pequeno, and works well as a coherent album (despite there being the odd dud track). It is an excellent 3am album, and serves as a strong stepping stone to wherever he decides to take his music next.
I really like this CD. I don't have a multiple cd player, but if I did, I'd like to hear it mixed-up with Golden Greats, Ian's previous album. Some of the keyboard sounds are almost identical, which is cool and establishes album-to-album continuity (William Orbit does this, too). Rhythims are similar, similar teture. Regarding Sphere's, in particular, Ian comes out in full-force, exhibiting great song writing skills and a knack for melody, maybe more so than on Golden Greats.
I like this record a lot. It's tough to place it, because it's dense. I doubt this is going to be released domestically. Go ahead and spend the 20 bones. There's not a lot of material out there worth even 5 bucks. Spheres will quench your thirst for quality.
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