The Stone Roses: Second Coming

NZ Listener

SECOND COMING, The Stone Roses (Geffen)

It has taken the Stone Roses as long to produce a follow-up to their celebrated 1989 debut as it took the Beatles to make their first eight albums, including Sgt Pepper.

Although the Beatles’ productivity and Stone Roses’ sloth are both amazing, what is more amazing is a British pop scene so static that the Roses hardly seem to have been away.

Nothing in the 78 minutes of Second Coming could possibly justify five years’ work, but it is an album of moments. The Roses have become heavier, riffier, a bit liker early Traffic. There are far fewer good songs than on their debut and Ian Brown is turning out to be a lousy singer. John Squire, on the other hand, has become something of a guitar virtuoso, although economy seems to have fallen out of his bag of tricks.

What they have over any other current white English band, though – and, yes, that includes Suede – is feel. Drummer Reni cooks, and their Massive Attack-in-Electric-Ladyland jamming hits some real grooves. But who will wait five years for more?

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