Cut to the Chase: Ian Brown's sixth studio album may be named after Sinatra's biggest hit, and is reportedly inspired by Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' - but to name two legends of music in the same breath is an insult. A lazy, uninspired offering from the ex-Stone Roses man, who lets the studio engineers and vocal effects team do all the work.
It's a bit puzzling how Ian Brown has waited until his sixth solo offering to call one of his albums 'My Way'; the Mancunian monkey man has been doing things his way for his whole career - some more successfully than others.
The album is bafflingly inspired by Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' ("a coincidence", apparently), but there's absolutely nothing about 'My Way' that would elicit comparisons with any of Jackson's material - or any pop material, for that matter. Brown stays true to the form he's employed across his entire career by using the same flat chant for a singing voice as he always has, dousing his songs in reverb and effects, and writing lyrics that are actually embarrassingly bad at times ('By All Means Necessary''s "Please don't cry / Cos we all gotta die / And through your zodiac sign / I see you in my wishing well" is especially awful).
True, he does bring in elements of very faint electronica on several tracks. When it works ('Stellify', 'Vanity Kills'), it's vaguely acceptable, and when it don't ('Own Brain', 'By All Means Necessary'), it falls flatter than the ever-present Stone Roses reunion rumours.
There's also a strange Mexican-style cover of the Zager & Evans song 'In the Year 2525' that seems to throw in Mariachi horns for the sake of it, and the mulchy, multi-parted 'Always Remember' adds layers of guitar and haze that sounds almost shoegazey in parts. Those stale offerings aside, though, there's little to no invention or imagination here. For fans of Brown, and for the singer himself, it's just not good enough.