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The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses

1989, 9.5/10
The Stone Roses’ 1989 debut album is a usual suspect on greatest album of all time lists, and it’s not difficult to see why, both as a collection of great songs and as an important moment in the history of British pop music. With a guitar driven sound and Ian Brown’s very British vocals, it’s an obvious touchstone for the Brit-pop movement of the 1990s, while it also suggested musical possibilities by backing guitar pop with dance beats, notably on the bonus track ‘Fools Gold’. There’s a brash confidence that underlines the album’s significance even further; it’s difficult to think of a bolder song title than ‘I Am The Resurrection’.

If there’s a criticism of The Stone Roses, perhaps the arrangements are too homogeneous and the running times could use a trim, but it’s hardly an issue when the track list includes stalwarts like ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, ‘Waterfall’, and ‘I Am The Resurrection’. Despite the limited sound palette, there is some studio experimentation, notably ‘Don’t Stop’, which contains most of the music elements from ‘Waterfall’ reversed. ‘Elizabeth My Dear’ is a brief acoustic snippet of folk chestnut ‘Scarborough Fair’, with anti-royal lyrics.

The Stone Roses deserves its reputation as a great British album, and it makes the remainder of the band’s output look disappointing in comparison.

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