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Ian Brown – Little Seed, Big Tree Review

The man from the horribly overrated band has something to say about the COVID-19 crisis. No, I’m not talking about Noel Gallagher, but Ian Brown. You know, the man from The Stone Roses, a band that are popular because one in three Britons don’t want to look further than Madchester chart hits. The best thing The Stones did for music was drop out of Glastonbury during the Britpop phase. Still, my ambivalence for this band aside, their lead singer seems to have carved out a solo career. Ian Brown’s latest single, Little Seed, Big Tree, is a convulsing, flailing pocket of nonsense set on dismantling and disrupting sensible advice.

It’s far from the heights of Brown’s career. Considering how clumsy and basic this is, you wouldn’t think Brown had been writing music for over twenty years. A song for the lockdown period, one that muses on how we’re “getting behind your doors for the New World Order”. A song all about the lockdown doesn’t feel like it’s worth the listen, especially not one written with this horrid event in mind. The best music to come from this period of isolation are the songs that take us away from the confines of our home, rather than place us in it. Except for Jarvis Cocker’s House Music All Night Long, an accidental hit musing on lockdowns, written before we were catapulted into quarantine, there will be no good songs about lockdown. Certainly not Little Seed, Big Tree, which fails entirely.

The lyrics feel very artificial, they lack clandestine sight and instead aim to appeal to those of a similar mindset to Brown. Disgustingly, that audience is larger than it should be. His musings on the coronavirus pandemic are backed by static, bland and inarticulate three-chord switches where the only change is the pace. Fast strum, slow strum, somewhere in between, it doesn’t matter, the lyrics spill into one another with no real care for structure. Eventually he runs out of steam, breaking down into chanting “Na na na na” and then rounding it off with a soundbite to appeal to the anti-vax audience. I’m not sure if Ian Brown has much of a following in the anti-vax world, but I’m sure Brown’s 2019 hit First World Problems is a classic at the parties organised by bottom feeders.

A song for brain-dead boomers to lap up and cite as their anthem for the fight against the New World Order, whatever that means. I’ve been watching a lot of old wrestling clips over lockdown, so I’m not sure if Ian Brown has it in for the unseen powers that be that run the world or Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall. The real issue with the song isn’t just its asinine lyrics and its poorly mixed sounds, but the politics that sparked it. A repugnant, washed-up singer stirs up a bit of controversy by saying we shouldn’t wear masks and that the 5G towers are causing coronavirus, and then slaps a song out talking about such a topic. It’s either a genius marketing campaign for a poorly worded, five-minute single, or Ian Brown has a brain made of stone, lacking the intelligence and arty pop he once brought to the world when he was surrounded by better musicians.

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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