Forth review by Verve

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Aug 25, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.4 (46 votes)
Verve: Forth
0

Sound — 9
It's a new decade for the reunited Verve, but will the radio still play the songs they make? The Verve broke up for the second and seemingly last time in 1999 soon after guitarist Nick McCabe left the band due to personal friction with singer Richard Ashcroft. The next eight years saw three mediocre and rather bland solo albums from Ashcroft, a Damon Albarn/Gorillaz collaboration for bassist Si Jones, a temporary drumming job in BRMC for Peter Salisbury, and some very low key collaborations for McCabe. It looked as if The Verve would never play together again. Ashcroft went so far as to say that one would see all four Beatles playing together than all four members of The Verve. Then in June of 2007, the unthinkable happened and The Verve announced their reunion. Following a half year of performing acclaimed gigs at Glastonbury and T in the Park, the Verve are ready to release their fourth album, entitled 'Forth' to the listening public. With 'Forth', one gets a sonic combination of the previous three Verve albums. The ten songs cover everything from the early-Verve jams of 'A Storm in Heaven' to the bombast and balladry of 'Urban Hymns'. Like most Verve albums, the standouts are McCabe, Jones, and Salisbury. McCabe is unique in his ability to create guitar sounds and layers that are remarkable, while Jones and Salisbury are about as good a rhythm section around.

Lyrics — 5
The weak spot of the record is Ashcroft. The same dull, dreary attitude displayed on his solo efforts is present here. Ashcroft in his early days was a shamanic frontman-living and breathing every word he sang. You could feel his jubilation, his stoned detachment, and his pain. However, something happened to him after the success of 'Urban Hymns', Ashcroft now views himself in the classic singer/songwriter mold, complete with dull lyrics and softly strummed guitars. Yes, Ashcroft can still bang out a stand out chorus, but he rarely comes up with a verse nowadays that is anywhere near as powerful as even his lesser songs from Urban Hymns. Listen to Numbness or I see Houses for point illustrations. One redeeming quality for Ashcroft is that his voice is better than ever. Sit and Wonder and Appalachian Springs are excellent examples of the power Ashcroft's voice had. I just wish he had something to say these days.

Overall Impression — 7
The album has no absolute standout track, like every previous Verve album, but it does offer up some very strong songs. Sit and Wonder is a epic opening track, similar in vein to 'The Rolling People' off of Urban Hymns. Lead single 'Love Is Noise' has an incredibly catchy chorus and a vocal loop that, while annoying, gets under your skin. 'Rather Be' is an anthem with a hook that would not be out of place on 'Urban Hymns'. Closing song Appalachian Springs finds the Ashcroft/McCabe dynamic working at it's best, with vocals and guitar work that'll hit all the emotional chords. However, the rest of the songs seemed either half-finished or Ashcroft solo material that he managed to get bump on to the album. If I could recommend something to the Verve, it would be to record an album live in studio, because they sound their best when feeding off each others sounds. They bring out the best in each other this way. I hope 'Forth' is just the warm-up album before another classic Verve album. By no means a step back, it just seems like The Verve needs some time to shake off the dust.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    BrainScan
    This album is not amazing. It's good and listenable and is a good backdrop for a sunny day, but definitely not 'amazing'. Still, it's nice to know that they're still making music.
    shnurs
    i dont know why people rate these guys so much....they seriously have very little talent but boast and talk so much about what they do (or lack of!).
    Smiter
    Jamie_W wrote: 'The Verves first full-length album in more than 10 years often sounds more like a spaced-out jazz jam session than a set of rock songs.' Why do I get the feeling that's supposed to be a criticism? I think the wrong person reviewed the album!
    lol exactly. other albums should aspire to be spaced out jazz jam sessions. Don't crucify a band for trying something new. Just reading the criticisms of this album make me want to get it.
    Jamie_W
    'The Verves first full-length album in more than 10 years often sounds more like a spaced-out jazz jam session than a set of rock songs.' Why do I get the feeling that's supposed to be a criticism? I think the wrong person reviewed the album!
    sundanceskid
    Omgsh!!! What did you all expect you bunch of ungrateful retards??? This album is amazing. This album is typically VERVE. If you're not a Verve fan then fair enough but if you ARE a Verve fan then WTF are you all talking about??? Go listen to it again you bunch of F***ing idiots!
    Bigshoutout
    Matt they don't even talk to journalists much. Incredibly talented band here, this albums not as good as Urban Hymn's but I prefer it to the other 2 shoegazer albums.
    matt169
    i dont know why people rate these guys so much....they seriously have very little talent but boast and talk so much about what they do (or lack of!).
    n00b. Go listen to all of their albums. And then buy a ticket to see a live performance. Honestly one of the best live shows I've seen. Need to get me this album though.
    StratDune
    the 2nd review is good. i havent heard the full album yet... but i have always faith in those four blokes.
    JBT09
    "they have very little talent" - have you ever even listened to their lyrics?
    Liamartrate
    I Just Bought This Album Yesturday.The Verve Has Changed So Much! I Still Find The Verve A Fantastic Band! A Real change From The 1997 Album "Urban Hymns". I Never Knew They Were Still Going, But I'm Glad They Are!
    lithium26
    i agreee that Forth is not as good as the Verve's previous albums, but this album does have it's moments. It does not deserve a 5.7
    Irtemed
    [quote]red15y wrote: Wow, such a low user review, yet even shitter bands continue to enjoy such admiration among UG users./quote] Yes. I don't like Coldplay at all. They aren't good enough to breathe the air around Richard Ashcroft, Sir NIck McCabe, Simon Jones, and Pete Salsbury.
    Sloopy
    Didn't like this record as much as A Northern Soul or Urban Hymns - but those records are tough to beat. I'm glad to have the Verve back but I think that they can do better.
    red157
    Wow, such a low user review, yet even shitter bands continue to enjoy such admiration among UG users.
    Dragon Master
    What is the hype with the British rave scene? I never understood it. If anything, Kasabian is the only band that stands out for me as a rave band. The Verve should've stuck with pure shoegazing, not with lame drum loops. They also should've imitated Urban Hymns , or, Northern Soul.
    CrowLord
    I have only listened to it once, but the only track that really stood out for me is Love is Noise, and really if they were to play a Greatest hits type set, its the only one of the record I can see them playing live