John Squire Unofficial

JSU Review

Marshall's House


Much anticipated? Well, I've found the wait long, but then I really got into 'Time Changes Everything' and loved the whole live Squire experience. It was however; plausible to see why the casual fan had a job to digest the debut album as easily as I, it wasn't the most commercially viable album I've heard. I tend to look at it as I did upon 'Unfinished Monkey Business' (Ian Brown's debut album), as a kind of self-discovery, having full free-reign over the creative output of the album for the first time and of course, getting some things off their chests!

So, Marshall's House, being the 2nd album is very much back to business and kicks off with 'Summertime', a bar of up-tempo drumming, the bass rolls in, chased by a classic John Squire riff. For those that were lucky enough to see John Squire live at this year's summer festivals, this track is instantly recognisable. Very little has changed but the studio version is welcomed. The whole track is a much more upbeat and cheerier Squire number and creates a much more warmer intro to an album than 'Joe Louis' ever could.

'Hotel Room' starts with shuffling percussion, not even Ian Brown's feet could resist! and then straight into a smooth riff, already exciting you about this album. It gets a little darker into the track and then throws a "teaser solo" into your room at around 1:53 but this turns into a short outro (the track is only 2:15 in total!)

Opening like a John Squire covered Feeder track but with added beauty and waves of sound, 'Marshall's House is a very much toned down, funky track (it does give into a more up-tempo outro though), a pause for breath before 'Lighthouse And Buildings. It's a choppy guitar and organ filled track with plenty of percussion and the whole thing hums a bit like The Strokes Is This It (album) / The Bluetones Luxemburg (specifically) Liquid Lips.

But this is what you want, 'Cape Cod Morning' (you may know it as 'Satellite'), opening beautifully, in a full-Roses-esque intro, a real echo from 1989 period Stone Roses. That is until the chorus comes and you're treated to a more modern Squire riff.

It almost sounds as he's having a Crowded House / Neil Finn moment with 'People In The Sun' when the bongos come in over the 'Elizabeth My Dear' like guitar-pickings but then it slides into a funkier 'Freedom' (George Michael). Well, that's what it reminded me of, George Michael crossed with Crowded House! Whatever it sounds like, it works, a nice tune with a cheeky little outro riff.

'Tables For Ladies' opens with a very modern-retro style sound and maintains it throughout, possible a bit influenced by The Strokes Is This It (Squire has certainly admitted to The Strokes being on his stereo), another short track. 'Automat' is another "nice" tune, certainly not a stand out track but it shuffles along well. It does start to sound a bit Paul McCartney / The Wings and then outros like 1960s Beatles, definitely not a bad thing but it does sound like the least John Squire track on the album and possibly the least original.

And then into 'Everybody Hurts' (REM) or so it seems as 'Yawl Riding A Swell' starts with a more-than-familiar low-tempo chiming guitar, which maintains its lullaby tones. BUT, because it does sound so blatantly like REM's classic "tear-jerker", this track stands to take "some stick" even with Squire's supercool riffs superimposed.

The first single 'Room In Brooklyn' opens up a much lighter track, which again has an early Roses flavour to it. The "One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six-Seven-Eight" bridge lyrics are more questionable though. But, with some airplay, it'll certainly chart well as debut (new album) material.

And final track 'Gas' opens as another low-tempo guitar-scaling tune similar to opener 'Summertime' and REM-clone 'Yawl Riding A Swell' but it's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing as Squire kicks back with a three-course-meal of guitar, drums and bass, this will be a great track to see live. The fitting outro to 'Marshall's House' that you can really see being stretched out to 10 minutes and soloed-up a treat!

But you will have to wait for the gigs for the serious solos as that's (as always) the one thing missing from 'Marshall's House'.

This album should do well, everyone should like it, there's certainly something for all here. Diehard Squire fans get another 11 Squire songs that will grow on them no end (the difference between this and 'Time Changes Everything' is that you'll be more than halfway there after just one listen!). Pure Roses fans are given a taste of the old days with tunes like 'Cape Cod Morning' and even those who hated 'Time Changes Everything' for John's voice as the vocal is pushed down in the mix a bit this time and the rhythm section is turned right up!

8.5 out of 10, definitely more open to a wider audience than his debut but I'd have given it 9 out of 10 for just one solo!

Released 9th February 2004


01. Summertime (Squire)3:13
02. Hotel Room (Squire)2:15
03. Marshall's House (Squire)4:15
04. Lighthouse & Buildings (Squire)2:02
05. Cape Cod Morning (Squire) AKA Satellites4:23
06. People In The Sun (Squire)4:07
07. Tables For Ladies (Squire)2:45
08. Automat (Squire)3:08
09. Yawl Riding A Swell (Squire)3:09
10. Room In Brooklyn (Squire)2:40
11. Gas (Squire)3:55

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