Despite still very much considered a member of the Britpop pioneers The Stone Roses, Ian Brown has actually produced far more music as a solo act than he ever did as part of his formative outfit. Unlike any other member of the group, the frontman has proven time and time again to be a respectable force in British music, and released multiple critically and commercially successful solo releases over the last two decades. But having waited an incredible ten years between this and his last studio release, Ian Brown seems to have lost much of that initial magic as he returns with his seventh solo LP 'Ripples'.
While he has to be commended for his forward-thinking ideas on this new collection, the trouble that 'Ripples' has from the very start is just trying to decide what it is supposed to be. Over the years, we have seen the frontman diversify his sound in order to separate himself from The Stone Roses' direction, and while this record produces much of the same intention, it just feels like a selection of styles, bundled together and never seem to gel very well together. Opening up with the progressive and captivating single 'First World Problems', the album quickly sinks into this swill of half-baked concepts that feels more like a work in progress than a finished record.
Maybe being so long out of the game is to blame for this album's general lack of enthusiasm, but after ten years in the wilderness, we would have expected a lot more from this legend of British music. It may save itself from time to time, but overall feels like a splattered mess of a release that just never picks itself off the ground.