Samstag, September 30, 2006

a record of love: ian brown's solarized


one of my all-times favourite artists is ian brown. ian brown started his career in the 80's as the singer of the groundbreaking mancunian band the stone roses. he started a solo career when the roses split in 1995 and has released four records since, plus one best of cd.

his last regular release solarized is the record this post is going to be about.

let's have a look at the songs one by one:

01 longsight M13

the opener is a love song to ian's home. Longsight, with the ward code (a ward is an electoral district used in local politics, mainly in england) M13, is the district were he grew up. this is were he met the stones roses' guitarist john squire and where they recorded their first, self-titled record. the lyrics praise longsight in this particular part:

let the stars shine on
until the break of dawn
let the stars shine on
and let her move, move like a queen
of Longsight M13

in various interviews, ian brown stated this song is about an inspiring place. he does so with very beautiful words:

got so many dreams
i think my head might explode


02 time is my everything

let the video play while you go on reading. it was shot by ian's wife fabiola quiroz-brown.




as ian brown is father of three sons, this song seems like an anthem for his kids, in which he claims that they are of the upmost importance for him:

time is my everything
for you I'd do anything
under the sun

child, don't you fear anything
for even the greatest men,
shall have to stand in line
i know you're gonna see it in the fullness of time

03 destiny or circumstance

it was when you smiled
and from the corner of your eye
i could see the sunrise shone on for miles

i've seen it all
i've never seen anything
so beautiful as you you're so gracile

this looks like a classical lyric about love, written for someone very special. but ian brown also knows very much how i felt when i saw him performing live:

is it your destiny or circumstance
leads you to the lord of the dance?
i admire your style
love your smile
cross the street
see you using all your guile
so our eyes our eyes would meet
soul arise love your smile
soul arise
love your smile

at least this part was written especially for me ;-)

04 upside down

this track is somewhat of an interlude. it is fairly short and does not have a classical structure with verses and a chorus. it is a very dark track that expresses ian's take on political issues.

a desert rose cascading waterfalls

the sands of time will blow my mind
the real wealth to hold is with your health
you were beside me all around
i know the world is upside down

note the hints on the stone roses, which occur in quite a few of ian brown's songs. here, he talkes about a desert rose and names waterfall, one of the most popular and beautiful tracks of the stone roses.

watch the video and hear how ian's voice has changed over the years. this song was recorded in 1989





05 solarized

first of all, the lyrics:

her heart gets broken
it's something she can't hide
she's cut like a diamond
from a mine as deep as time
the words that she's spoken
have energised my mind
a sheer elevation so like eagles high we'll glide

hot love it smoulders
it's something she can't hide
a manifestation of a force as old as time
now morning has broken
and solarized my eyes
her sheer dispensation
says like eagles high we'll glide

solarized in the sunrise
rise with the sunrise
soul rise in the sunrise
solarized in the sunrise
rise with the sunrise
soul rise in the sunrise
the light that she lives for in the dark she'll always find

not much i can add to this. the last line is like a promise for eternity and words like she's cut like a diamond from a mine as deep as time can only be outdone by what he sings in the next song:

06 the sweet fantastic

you I have found
i hope you'll always be around
and though nothing lasts forever
say you'll always be my pleasure

you I have found
i hope you'll always be around
and if everything lasts forever
say you'll always be my pleasure

the two verses build up a great connection. not only should the loved one always be there although nothing lasts forever, but also if everything lasts forever. this line warms my heart every time i hear it. what's even better than saying: I always want you to be with me? - saying if you're always gonna be there there is nothing greater i could think of.

07 keep what ya got

this track was written by noel gallagher of oasis. it was originally called teotihuacan and included on the soundtrack of the x-files movie, released in 1998. listen to a 30 seconds stream here to compare it with keep what ya got.

when the song was re-recorded, noel stated that he thought 'this song must be sung by ian' everytime he heard it. as an reference to my topic, this is noel showing ian his admiration.









08 home is where the heart is

home is where the heart is
i’m so glad you’re here to stay
and should you find yourself ever drifting away
i made a space my heart where you can stay
i saved a place in my heart where you may wanna lay

looks like a perfect combination of the aforementioned topics: it could be about a very special person, but also about a very special place.

09 one way ticket to paradise

this contains one of my favourite images about how life can be:

threw a dice came up with seven
now i'm on my way to heaven

i got a one way ticket to paradise

10 kiss ya lips (no i.d.)

this is ian's take on a political issue, a hot topic in the uk: the introduction of i.d. cards to stop terrorism and plane hi-jacking. again, very political lyrics, packed into an absolutely dancable cheerful song.

11 happy ever after

the instrumental outro of the album

bonus track: lovebug

this needs no comments, one of the most inventive lyrics about love i've heard so far:

Someone call the doctor, there's a fever going round,
write me a perscription for the cure that can't be found.

Doctor can't prescribe the medicine to pull you through,
it just dont exist cos its the lovebug catching you,
this ailment dont need healing, it wont leave you feeling blue,
its the feeling so contageous,its the lovebug catching you.


Someone call the doctor, there's a fever going round,
write me a prescription for the cure that can't be found,
this ailment dont need healing, it wont leave you feeling blue,
its the feeling so contageous, lovebug catching you.

It's the friend next to your shoulder who will stab you in the back,
pay no heed to enemies who come to you on the attack,
No known antidote nor expert treatment to assist,
here's a bug your system is unable to resist,
it takes mass participation to make every bit correct,
lovebug circulation, yes a medical success,
lovebug antidote immunisation for the best,
here's a bug thats gonna put your system to the test.



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