It's A Beautiful Life review by Freebass

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  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 0 (0 votes)
Freebass: It's A Beautiful Life

Sound — 7
This is the first major commercial outing that two of Manchester's best-known bassists, New Order's Peter Hook and The Stone Roses' Mani, have made in several years. Originally starting as a project between three famous bassists, and also three good friends, the project was incredibly brave in including in the band's main ideas the three-line bass section. Here you hear Hook's work in the second octave (above 12th fret) with the funk style basslines of Andy Rourke sitting in the middle, and Mani holding down low, thudding basslines. What results is Hook's playing adding a noticable bass MELODY and riffs to the tracks, whilst the funk basslines inluded in these tracks provide catchy riffs that stick in the head. However this also adds a disappointment in that a die-hard Joy Division/New Order fan will notice the similarities between Hook's playing in this band and between his two previous ones, and the same goes for Mani. It is also something of a shame that little of Andy Rourke actually survived between demo (which were available on their website) other than the occasional 'funky' riff.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are very much different to the expected New Order/Stone Roses vocals that fans of the musicians may expect. There is a good attempt by the band to experiment with different song structures and different subjects. However what lets the vocal side down is the singer himself. Gary Briggs is, as a whole, hit-and-miss, and some songs see his vocals either lost in the mix or simply an annoyance or distraction. He seems to lack the charisma and power of voice to hold himself in the complicated mix of basslines, drums and guitar which he is supposed to be fronting.

Overall Impression — 8
A die-hard New Order fan who listens to this will be disappointed, as will any Stone Roses fan listening. However treated purely on its own merits it is a well-tried and decent attempt. The range of songs included within the track listing is incredibly good, ranging from the pulsing Plan B to the funky World Won't Wait. The bonus disc of instrumentals is also highly listenable. What is perhaps disappointing is that for all that the band has tried to be diverse, they seem to dispense with unity in the listing. Some songs are out-of-place in this sort of album, and as a whole the album does not flow smoothly from one track to another. Songs to listen to include Plan B, Not Too Late, World Won't Wait and Stalingrad.

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