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Ian Brown | Ripples

Ripples is another low-key affair from the The Stone Roses' frontman.

Time flies when you’re revisiting your past. Thanks at least in part to The Stone Roses‘ unexpectedly long-lived reunion, it’s been nearly a decade since frontman Ian Brown released a solo album. (And now that he has, it might lend credence to rumours that the Madchester pioneers have once again gone their separate ways.) But if you expect him to make some major waves after his time away, you don’t know Brown. Like much of his extracurricular work, his seventh solo set Ripples is a decidedly low-key, no-fuss affair. Brown produces himself. He ropes in his sons as musicians. He tosses in covers of Barrington Levy’s Black Roses and Mikey Dread’s Break Down the Walls. And he keeps everything from his beats to his melodies simple but tasteful, never breaking a sweat or raising his voice as he croons breezily about First World problems, unity and his own past (“Why do Roses all turn to stone? Too much poison”) over flowing, laid-back reggae, funk and pop grooves. It may not be what the world is waiting for, but it’s still good to have Brown diving back into solo waters.