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Ian Brown

Unfinished Monkey Business

(Mercury)

How many Stone Roses fanatics went out and bought the Seahorses release and were disappointed? Probably most I would say—I know I was. Fortunately, Stone Roses lead singer Ian Brown is back with his debut solo album and it is safe to say that Brown’s sincere DIY effort vastly exceeds the bloated rock of the Seahorses. So much so, that it’s now tempting to judge Brown the real guiding spirit behind the first glorious Stone Roses album.


Unfinished Monkey Business is certainly not without flaws, but they are somewhat charming. Just like the title suggests, many of the tracks have an unfinished quality that is largely a result of the loose production and the fact that Brown plays most of the instruments, all of which he only recently taught himself to play. “Can’t See Me” approximates the funky groove and spirit of the Stone Roses classic “Fools Gold” and “My Star” resurrects the hypnotic jangle of “Made Of Stone,” while many of the other tracks display Brown’s love of dub reggae experimentalism. Unfinished Monkey Business is a promising first step in Brown’s solo career and make his further musical excursions much anticipated.

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