Everyone thinks he looks like a monkey anyway so Ian Brown ran with the theme for his first solo album. After the disaster that was the Stone Roses last few years, Unfinished Monkey Business was way better than it had any right to be and includes Brown's possible solo high water mark 'Corpses In Their Mouths' amongst other lo-fi and funky songs.
Vinyl LP £21.74 MOVLP2180
180g vinyl reissue LP on Music On Vinyl.
US promo CD on Polygram, only back art.
9/10 Ellis 25th April 2019
Deserves a reissue this.
It's easy to forget that many people were, let's say, very sceptical that Ian Brown would survive the collapse of The Stone Roses. Good front man, shit singer. Without John Squires providing the actual musical talent and taste he didn't stand a chance. Remove his musical support system - Squires, Reni, Mani - and all that'll be left is a stoned pile of baggy clothes. Etc etc.
But 'Unfinished Monkey Business' proved there was more to Ian Brown than the simian Manc caricature, and surrounded once again by a very able set of musicians - Mani came on board, of course, but Aziz Ibrahim proved equal to Squires as well - he produced something of an off-kilter classic. Lo-fi without the studied connotations of that genre 'Unfinished Monkey Business' ploughed its own weird furrow, ranging from the druggy paranoia of 'Corpses In Their Mouth' through the hazy, drunken-singalong psychedelia of 'Sunshine' to the exceptionally strange 'Lions'.
One way or another, 'Unfinished Monkey Business' captured something of that original spirit of The Stone Roses. Shorn of the expectations, shorn of the excess, going back to the unpolished basic, Brown managed somehow to create an album that has stood up to the passing decades way more than anything else produced by his ex-bandmates.
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