Ian Brown Golden Greats (Interscope)

Golden Greats (Interscope)

Ian Brown

Golden Greats (Interscope)

"Jingle jangle, here's the jailer," opines Brown on "Free My Way." Fitting words for a man who spent six months locked in a Crown-mandated London dungeon after a nasty case of airline disobedience circa 1998. In any event, Brown remains best known stateside as the former lead vocalist of the mind-bogglingly influential Manchester band Stone Roses. Since that group's disastrous breakup in the wake of their equally disastrous 1995 sophomore CD Second Coming, Brown has apparently bided his time waiting for inspiraton to kick his ass. Consider it kicked. Golden Greats is a flat-out masterpiece from start to finish, one of those few CDs that holds your ear from the opening strains to the final U.N.K.L.E. remix. This smacks of the real thing, not a final, last-ditch effort from a struggling frontman in search of a band. Brown, who managed to learn bass, drums, and, they say, guitar, immediately after his journeyman pass to the Queen Mum's finest cellar was revoked, acquits himself majestically here. From the opening grindey funk of "Gettin' High" to the funky grind of the U.S.-only version of "Love Like a Fountain," this is supersexy, sleek, Mancunian rock & roll. While current UK hitmakers like Travis and non-hitmakers like Los Bros. Gallagher mine the same old 1991 vein, Brown's ass-grabbing, pelvic thrust-heavy riposte feels like a breath of fresh nitrous, crisp and clear and painfully arousing. And with both former Roses bassist (and current Primal Scream rhythmist) Mani and drummer Reni onboard for the ride, it's almost (but not quite) a reunion of sorts. Seems to be quite a lot of that going on lately. This one's highly recommended.

****

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