Title - 'The Stone Roses: 20th Anniversary'
Artist - Stone Roses
Meshing simple, exceedingly catchy hooks with rhythmic beats, The Stones Roses led the UK's so-called "Madchester" scene straight into the U.S. with their eponymous debut. Indeed, The Stone Roses were one of those bands who burned brightly... and all too briefly. Thankfully their presence has been long-lasting -- the music of their self-titled first album still lingers long after the breakup of the band. They captured lightning in a bottle, even if their first album's musical perfection was their downfall.
After the panoramic, rumbling buildup of "I Wanna Be Adored," the Roses catch you with rollicking, infectious rock songs and psychedelic trips. While sticking to strong pop melodies and rock instrumentation, the Roses manage to experiment around a bit -- the delicate "Waterfall" is literally turned backwards and replayed, in a song that is almost as good as the original.
The true rock rebellion shows in "Bye Bye Bad Man" with protests concerning French student riots ("Every backbone and heart you break/We'll still come back for more") and an acid-tinged anti-royalist song. Finishing up the unalloyed brilliance is the bitter, complicated "I Am the Resurrection," and the melodic "Fool's Gold" -- two of the best songs on the album.
The Stone Roses spread their influence far in this album -- there are soft ballad-like melodies, whirling psychedelic trips, and rock that rises, crests and slowly sinks. Expect your heartbeat to rise and sink with it -- because this music has a richness and depth that most rock music cannot even begin to equal.
John Squire's guitar riffs are flexible and fluid; it sounds like this guy was reinventing guitar licks all on his own. His shimmering guitar riffs of "Waterfall" are truly magnificent. The deep basslines will drawn you in whether you like it or not, as will Reni's outstanding drumming. Everything culminates in a wild, dense psychedelic mass in the overwhelming "I Am the Resurrection."
Ian Brown's vocals are excellent; unlike many rock singers, he has genuine vocal talent. The writing for these songs is deeply vibrant. Sometimes the intensity is almost breathtaking, as Brown sings, "I am the resurrection and I am the light/I couldn't ever bring myself/To hate you as I'd like." Ow, heavy stuff. But he is equally good with the quieter songs, sounding sad and a little pensive.
The Stone Roses achieved one of the most successful fusions of classic pop songwriting and acid house culture, and managed to snare fans from both genres. By the end of 1989, their debut had landed on many a top-ten list for that year; NME even declared it "The Greatest Album Of All Time."
"The Stone Roses" is an unforgettable musical experience. A culmination of musical genius, this is one of the handful of albums out there without a bad track or a sense of monotony. Ergo, this 2CD/1 DVD Deluxe Edition is very, very highly recommended.