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A curious album of many musical styles, with the ultra-soulful voice of Richard Ashcroft making this one of the stand-out albums of Britpop.

The album starts off with the aptly titled, 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' - a big track for The Verve, and costly, too! Whatever, it's an inventive sampling of the old Stones track, 'The Last Time'.

This is an album of searing intensity, with Richard Ashcroft revealing a wide vocal range - from the raucous 'The Rolling People', to the bewitchingly beautiful melancholy of the 'The Drugs Don't Work' (surely one of the greatest songs of the '90s). It's The Verve's best song, and ideally suited for Ashcroft's voice, as he wrings out every piece of emotion. 'Lucky Man' is another high quality ballad, with a superb, subtle arrangement which sweeps you up.

Other eminent tracks are 'Sonnet' - a classy song, with quality guitar work and a tight rhythm; 'One Day', 'This Time', 'Velvet Morning', and 'Come On' - a loud, vertiginous, in-your-face track - ideal for anyone in a monster bad mood.

Even the track I didn't like - 'Neon Wilderness' - I found myself humming subconsciously. On this album The Verve prove themselves to be a proficient band - skilful in their carrying off of so many moods and sounds - encompassing heavy rock, psychedelia, indie, folk, soul, blues (dig the wah wah!), but ultimately having a unique sound. Never was a band more appropriately named.

- Paul Rance/

Richard Ashcroft can list Noel Gallagher and Chris Martin among his fans, and they have good taste. With The Verve, Ashcroft had an openly emotional quality to his voice, which was simply beautiful. His solo career has seen his reputation enhanced still further, and, at a relatively young age, he can already be considered one of the giants of British music - and he still seems a nice, unassuming bloke, too.

Recommended album: Keys to the World
by: Richard Ashcroft

Richard Ashcroft : Keys to the World [Parental Advisory]

Buy this album at Amazon!

The Verve - 'Urban Hymns' Urban Hymns
Product image for ASIN: B000000WF0 Urban Hymns
'Urban Hymns Vinyl' Urban Hymns [VINYL] Classic Albums - Reviews

The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Beatles - Revolver
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles - The Beatles/The White Album

Blur - Parklife

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
David Bowie - Outside
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
The Doors - The Doors
Green Day - American Idiot
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Maroon5 - Songs About Jane
The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells

PIL/Public Image Ltd. - Flowers Of Romance
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Queen - A Night At The Opera

Stereophonics - Performance And Cocktails
10cc - How Dare You
Travis - The Man Who
The Verve - Urban Hymns 1990s to Contemporary Music Index

'Urban Hymns' Track Listing

Bitter Sweet Symphony (music by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, lyrics by Ashcroft)
Sonnet (Ashcroft)
The Rolling People (The Verve)
The Drugs Don't Work (Ashcroft)
Catching The Butterfly (The Verve)
Neon Wilderness (McCabe, The Verve)
Space And Time (Ashcroft)
Weeping Willow (Ashcroft)
Lucky Man (Ashcroft)
One Day (Ashcroft)
This Time (Ashcroft)
Velvet Morning (Ashcroft)
Come On (The Verve)

More Verve CDs available from

A Northern Soul

Verve Remixed Vol.2

Richard Ashcroft CDs available from
A Song for the Lovers
C'Mon People

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