Ian Brown

Remixes of the Spheres

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Remixes of the Spheres is a somewhat odd beast. It's essentially a compilation of B-sides and other tracks that would have been B-sides had Music of the Spheres generated more singles. The album starts out with five remixes and then shifts to the demo-quality previously unreleased song "Superstar" and an interesting though not essential 2002 remake of the Unfinished Monkey Business track "My Star." The remixes are hit and miss. James Lavelle's UNKLE mix of "F.E.A.R" transforms the song into a dancefloor barnstormer, emphasizing strings, jangly guitars, and a furious tempo. Though it might be perfect for the discotheque, off the dancefloor it doesn't hold a candle to Brown's original. The same can be said for the remaining remixes, though the Nightmares on Wax remix of "The Gravy Train" is worth a listen for its funky, skuzzy vibes. Instrumental versions of these remixes are tacked on at the end of the album, amounting to little more than filler. A live take on "El Mundo Pequeno" adds nothing new to the album version, and an almost unbearably cacophonous DJ Mek mix of the dub tune "Cokane in My Brain" doesn't inject the humor and excitement it intends. Remixes of the Spheres isn't essential listening for Ian Brown fans, and for all intents and purposes, it feels like one of those afterthought albums released to satisfy a record contract.

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