Before there was Chinese Democracy, there was The Stone Roses’ Second Coming, an oft delayed album by a highly influential band, weighed down by its own expectations long before it even hit the shelves. Books have been written about the Stone Roses’ debut. Critics noted it for its shift in British rock, as the sounds of rave met the sounds of the stage. Fans like me, spun it on end, getting lost again and again in “I Wanna Be Adored,” “This is The One,” “I Am the Resurrection,” and “Fool’s Gold.”

By the time The Stone Roses finally released Second Coming in 1994, another change was already underfoot in British rock, that of Brit Pop, and it was led by the release of Oasis’ debut disc, Definitely Maybe. Forward thinking fusions were on their way out. In its place was a combination of big guitars, nostalgia, and a celebration of all things British. The Stone Roses’ Second Coming, with its reliance on swampy, American blues, fit in neither with their Madchester roots, nor with the burgeoning Brit Pop scene. Needless to say, it received a rather cool reception from the press.

Fourteen years later, opinions are starting to soften on Second Coming, as fans and critics have begun to accept it for what it was: a Rock ‘N’ Roll guitar album, and have ceased complaining about what it wasn’t: The Second Coming of The Stone Roses’ debut. It’s on tracks like “Love Spreads” where John Squire’s guitar work is rightfully pushed forward in the mix. Sure, it lacks the balance of their earlier work, where rhythm and melody kept each other in check, but when you blaze as Squire blazes, what purpose would balance serve?

YOUTUBE: The Stone Roses – Love Spreads

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