John Squire: Time Changes Everything


John Squire, eh? Set himself up as the chief architect of the eighties most promising debut album, and then what did he do? Took five years to write a half-arsed second album (well, one cheek was lovely), and then kind of lost the plot. To lose one band could be considered unlucky, to lose three…well, that just proves he’s an egomaniac, doesn’t it? The claim has been levelled at him by at least two of his former singers, and Squire himself has recently hinted he may be slightly ‘uncompromising’. So what do you do then if you’ve got a knack for writing memorable melodies and no-one to sing them? Well, if you’re John Squire, you do it yourself.

Apparently, the man who would let his effervescent guitar work do his talking, doesn’t say much himself. So it’s a bit of a surprise that he has decided to unveil his singing voice on his debut solo album. To be frank, it’s not great, but then he was third choice singer in the Stone Roses, behind Ian ‘Squonk’ Brown, so what do you expect? Ridiculously exciting though thoroughly superfluous guitar work tied to pleasant but slightly bland songs, I hear you say? Well, you’d be half right.

Because somewhere, somewhen, Squire has had a personal epiphany concerning his songwriting, in as much as they now sound like songs rather than several hundred guitar solos sellataped together. From the off, Time Changes Everything is a record of such depth and melodic strength, that several reviewers before me have claimed it to be the true follow up to the Stone Roses debut album. However, critics have also claimed that Squire’s voice is an affront to taste. True, it ain’t pretty, but it does the job, and when the songs are lodged inside your head (as they will be after a couple of listens), you can choose whichever singer you like to sing them. Oddly, the guitars are slightly subdued, and actually complement the songs. It’s a pleasant surprise, and makes for one of the strongest albums released this year. That’s strong as in ten good songs rather than two half-decent singles and forty-odd minutes of shite. It’s just a shame that it’s taken him thirty-nine years to get his obvious song-writing and guitar-playing talents in equilibrium. Stand out tracks? 'I Miss You', 'Time Changes Everything', and the first single, 'Joe Louis'. Go and get it. If nothing else, it’ll piss Ian Brown off, and that’s no bad thing.


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