With bands as revered as The Stone Roses, the resurrection act is always going to be a tricky one to play. It’d be pointless attempting to recapture the swirling indulgence, and serotonin overload of the band’s Haçienda days; all that stuff got consigned to musical folklore (well, and 24 Hour Party People) long ago. But then again, it’s impossible to listen to ‘All For One’ without being distinctly aware, and saddened, that this is the same band that once wrote ‘Fools Gold’ and ‘Made of Stone’.
The guitars noodle away inoffensively enough, with none of Stone Roses’ old magic or stardust, Reni’s drums skipping merrily along like the introduction to a children’s telly show. All the band hallmarks are here, with none of the follow-through. And as for Ian Brown, what the bloody heck is he on about? “All for one, and one for all, if we all join hands, we’ll make a wall,” he husks repeatedly, shambling on about family, harmony, mystery, chemistry, and various other loose ideas that mash together without any discernible substance or uniting concept.
The most disappointing thing about Stone Roses’ first song in decades is not that it’s absolute crap; though lyrically it verges on it. Even worse - it’s so middle of the road, it may as well live out its days in a minor back-road’s cats eye, reminiscing about the good old days instead.