Thursday, 25 June 2009

98: Ian Brown - F.E.A.R

Timing the release of a single can be significant, if that song somehow captures the prevailing mood, and thus it was the case for former Stone Roses' frontman, Ian Brown, with the release of 'F.E.A.R'.

The first single off Brown's third solo album was released just 6 days after the attacks on the World Trade Center. The song became a major commercial and critical success for Brown, reaching #13 in the UK singles chart, whilst receiving multiple award nominations for songwriting. Lyrically, it would seem to bear little relevance, but the whole mood of the song is dark, and it struck a chord with music fans in the days that followed 9/11.

Video of Brown "performing" the song on Top Of The Pops

Brown's creative use of the acrostic to form each line of each verse works a treat, and Brown admitted in interviews at the time that he created hundreds of such acrostics during the writing of the song. On top of this, the scansion varies through the song, adding maximum impact on lines that shift the rhythm of the vocals, such as "fantastic expectations, amazing revelations" and "fallen empires are ruling". There's something about the song that just seems to click. Maybe it's the use of the sample from 'Gangsta's Paradise'?

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