Released in 2000, Ian Brown's second solo effort is not, as its title may imply, a greatest hits compilation. In fact, it is quite the opposite, witnessing Brown taking a completely new direction. Tapping into a different realm of sci-fi inspired beats and innovative variations on subtle sonic textures, Brown's second release is an experiment that turned out very well.
- Gettin' High 4:01
Starts off with a bit of Indian-inspired strings, then plunges into some great grinding rock riffs. No other word for it, this song is just plain bitchin'.
- Love Like A Fountain 4:36
An oustanding track and an obvious choice as a single, this song blends some 70s funk flavour with some great modern beats. Probably the best song on the album.
- Free My Way 4:55
Likely written about Brown's experiences in prison after he loudly informed an airline stewardess that he would cut off her hands if she didn't serve him properly, Free My Way perfectly conveys the agitated anxiety of a prison escapee-to-be. The song combines a strong trip-hop influence with threatening lyrics (including the gem "Thou shalt not bear false witness/ against thy neighbour/ I was your neighbour/ now you're in danger"), and incorporates the jingling of a warden's keys into the urgent atmosphere that pervades the song.
- Set My Baby Free 4:25
A monotonous song centering around a few keyboard riffs, Set My Baby Free is a great, subtle song with a funky feel to it. A really good, solid track, even if it doesn't appeal to everyone.
- So Many Soldiers 5:16
According to Brownie, the song is about the "war going on in America. It's a battlefield. It's being fought by soldiers on all sides. It's the gang bangers. And it ain't restricted to the US. Gang bangin' is fully fledged over here in the UK too. It's a war involving drugs, turf, fast cars and high living. It's just that 'only so many soldiers come home'. "
Golden Gaze 3:56
Has a great trip-hop beat that seems like you're in the year 4000, having a stroll through a robot factory. The song is complete at the end with a Spanish-inspired string section that melds perfectly with the sci-fi atmosphere of the beginning.
- Dolphins Were Monkeys 5:06
The other single from the album, Dolphins Were Monkeys is a funk-inspired track that has a glimmery, catchy quality to it. Complete with some trademark crackpot lyrics suggesting that dolphins are in fact related to humans via the monkey, Brown is really in his element here.
- Neptune 3:32
Picking up where My Star left off, the slow, hazy Neptune takes the listener on a tour through outer space. The music here really reproduces the vacuum-like quality of space, and is definitely worth a listen.
- First World 5:07
A meandering funk tune, with a hook reminiscent of a slowed-down version of "Candyman" by Cornershop, yet with the sort of unique character that could only come from Ian Brown. According to Brown's website, the song originally began as two separate songs which later spliced together, in an effort to comment on the contrast on the differences between the first world industrialised nations and those considered to be third world.
- Babasonicos 4:05
A mellowed out, poignant closing track with a blues influence. Seemingly about the female magistrate who sentenced Brown to his prison term, containing defiant lines like "You weren't there that night/ You didn't get it right", followed by a bitter declaration that "the lady got no soul". Has some good guitar near the end.