THE RESURRECTION 

By Adam Simcox

4056.jpg

‘Unoriginal, repetitive, boring’.

1 out of 5

Amazon

‘Too repetitive, boring, melts your brain and probably causes depression. Don't buy it, don't waste your money avoid avoid’.

1 out of 5

Amazon

‘Oh how the once mighty have fallen, repetitive, boring, unoriginal, lifeless the list goes on’.

1 out of 5

Amazon

‘Repetitive, child-like lyrics that sound like they were lifted from Liam Gallagher’s ‘maybe’ pile’

1.5 out of 5

The Guardian

'Like Bryan Adams fronting Rainbow’

1 out of 5

The Guardian

‘It’s as if they suddenly remembered they’ve booked studio time. Such is their continuing, some would say misplaced, self-belief that they believed that hastily cobbled mess is good enough’.

1 out of 5

 

These last three acerbic reviews of the Stone Roses’ big comeback single ‘All for One’ don’t speak for all Roses fans, but I’d venture they speak for a lot.  Once the adernealised thrill of hearing new material has faded (and it was genuinely thrilling, a moment that shows bands like this, music like this, still matters) a sickly feeling lingered, that this all felt rushed, that the mix was all wrong, that the lyrics felt painfully simplistic, that it just felt a little… tossed off. 

This is what we waited 21 years for?  A Seahorses B-side?

And then I thought back to 2005, and Daft Punk’s Human After All, and I was reassured that all may not yet be lost.

The three reviews at the top of the page refer to the robots third studio album, a record that had been similarly long awaited, and which was met with a critical response that could be best described as ‘mixed’.  Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian called the album "a joyless collection of average ideas stretched desperately thin’, and on first hearing I didn’t think she was far wrong.  Short snatches of song repeated ad infimum, as if the famously secretive French duo didn’t care anymore, that they were deliberately burning down all they’d creatively achieved up to that point, an angry fuck you to the record label they were contractually obliged to satisfy before the divorce could be finalized.

This new Roses material may belong in a different musical genre, but it reminds me of Human After All.  Very few lyrics – whether in the comeback single, or its (superior) follow-up Beautiful Thing, repeated, and repeated and repeated, simple grooves and guitar licks flickering in and out as John Squire and Reni see fit.  Less mythic, less huge than that bands previous output.  The second Roses album, for all its faults, never sounded anything less than massive, and the feeling lingers throughout that this simply isn’t good enough, that it’s just too…small.

And then I thought back to that Daft Punk album, and the subsequent live shows.

 "When we put out Human After All, I got a lot of bad feedback, like, 'It's so repetitive. There's nothing new. Daft Punk used to be good.' Then they came back with the light show, and everyone shut their mouths... People even apologized, like, 'How could we have misjudged Daft Punk?' The live show changed everything. Even if I'm part of it, I like to step back and admire it. Me, I cried."

Pedro Winter, Daft Punk’s manager at the time.

It was only when their Alive tour happened that Human After All made sense, it’s apparent simplicity all the better to digitally tear asunder, the French pair splicing their back catalogue together with their new long player to thrilling effect.  Their Coachella comeback in 2006 remains one of the most important, the most influential in electronic music’s relatively short history, effectively launching the genre in America.  Skillrex, for one, has admitted he owes his career to this tour, though we shouldn’t hold that against them.

So all is not yet lost, perhaps these songs have been primed for the slavish stadium crowds that will see the band this summer.  Certainly, the early signs are good; just ask @TomThreadgill1, who attended the first night of the Roses Ethihad residency last night:

'Anyone who doesn't like The Stone Roses song all for one... Listen to it live.....OH MY WORD!