Aziz Ibrahim

Lahore to Longsight

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Former Stone Roses replacement Aziz Ibrahim is one of those peripheral musicians who demands the sort of half-loyalty known of mutual friends and in-laws, but where the average session grunt can't discern arrogance from reality, Aziz fights for his own strain of luck and skill long enough to pick up the clarity of Arthur Lee and chew on its rind. On the baronial "Living a Lie," he has created something as wooly as the Housemartins steeped in political intrigue, with a slightly Eastern arrangement, and in "Mummy's Boy" you get the kind of song the the Wonder Stuff would have made if they ever had conviction. But Aziz also seems somewhat unprepared for a full LP, wobbling out after the first act. While Paul Weller; Talvin Singh; ex-Smiths Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce; and ex-Roses Reni and Mani all slot appearances, Aziz is unable to build upon the musical themes he sets up with this remarkable pool of talent, continually missing out on the freedom and self-scrutiny that a solo effort like this typically allows. Lahore to Longsight is remarkable not for what it is, then, but for the fact it even exists at all, a debut which accomplishes more than it should while succeeding far less than its gluttonous nexus of musicians implies.

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