Ian Brown - The World Is Yours ( Polydor)
If The World Is Yours sounds like the title of a James Bond movie, this album is its soundtrack. Sweeping orchestration abounds. It's no great surprise that a special edition comes with an orchestral version of the album (no guitar and drums, so no Steve and Paul).
The regular version itself is mellower than I expected. Conjuring up obvious Beatles comparisons, there are hints of Lennon in such songs as Street Children, and in the anti-war Illegal Attacks (which also tips its hat to Goldeneye). Lily Allen springs to mind during Some Folks Are Hollow.
Steve and Paul feature on Sister Rose and Me and You Forever, Steve having recorded his parts in LA. The boys play in keeping with the feel of the set, so it's a more subtle approach than we are used to from the pair. Steve and Paul are credited as co-writers on Sister Rose, and it's the album's highlight. Starting with a 1960s Bond soundtrack vibe, it's subtle, yes, but it soon muscles the strings to one side as it rocks and grooves with some neat Cook 'n' Jones energy. It's a fantastic piece of music and gets better with each listen.
Steve's approach on Me and You Forever is very reminiscent of the demos he recorded with Iggy Pop in 1985 as well as his own Mercy album. The guitar on this track is used as colouring rather than the backbone, while Paul's drums keep it all steady. It took a few listens to fully appreciate it. It's not The Professionals, but it's not supposed to be. It's Ian Brown.
A very grandiose affair, I'm sure the album will gain many plaudits, and rightly so. Steve and Paul have added their personalities to the proceedings. Let's face it, they'll never let us down.
by Phil Singleton
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