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EDITIONS
Monday, 16 September, 2002, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Squire rings the changes
John Squire
John Squire was lead guitarist with the Stone Roses

Life as a guitar legend is not all it is cracked up to be.

Way back when, John Squire - architect of the Stone Roses' timeless debut album - had already cemented his place in rock 'n' roll's hall of fame.

But the second-rate Second Coming, coupled with The Seahorses' unmasking as a one-trick pony, tarnished his reputation. Now he wants to get it back.

The first thing that strikes you about Time Changes Everything is how it sounds nothing like you would expect.

Gone is the fresh-faced innocence of youth - replaced by a grizzled, middle-aged man, reflecting on his lot as he swings on his chair in the porch.

John Squire
Squire makes a good account of himself
And where Ian Brown's vocals were once dripped in honey, Squire's are coated in sawdust and tar - the product of too many late nights in smoky backroom bars.

Opening track Joe Louis is the sound of a once-great boxer past his prime - sluggish and despairing, yet still strangely intriguing.

The post-whine Bob Dylan influence is there for all to hear - and remains omnipresent throughout this impressive solo debut.

Transtlantic Near-Death Experience and the mesmerising Welcome To The Valley ("For some of us, the most important thing we'll ever do is die") continue the sombre theme, but there are a few chinks of light along this dark journey.

The Lennon-influenced 15 Days fondly recalls the "33.3 recurring nightmares" of the juvenile Stone Roses, when they "came down from the north" under "heavy-metal skies".

That period of his life must seem like an awful long time ago and you suspect Squire is more likely to cover himself with blankets than paint these days.

Fruitful

It must be immensely satisfying to know you have played a major part on one of the 20th Century's greatest albums.

But equally there is the frustration of realising it will be unfairly used as the yardstick with which to measure all future projects.

Nevertheless,Time Changes Everything can be hailed a success, from the Numan-esque Shine A Little Light to the rasping piano ballads of the title track and stand-out song All I Really Want.

Squire has put himself up to be shot at and while he does not escape scot free, it is only a flesh wound at worst.

True, he will never fully recapture those golden years, but for now all in the garden is rosy.

Time Changes Everything is on the North Country label.

See also:

08 Aug 02 | Entertainment
07 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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