Urban Hymns review by Verve

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  • Released: Sep 30, 1997
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 10 (27 votes)
Verve: Urban Hymns

Overall Impression — 10
5 stars! Is that all! Ok...This is just one of the discs that I would want to take with me to my grave should the world explode. No other album I have ever listened to has the appeal this one has. A sonic lover's dream come true. All of the tracks here are layered and textured with such care with so many 'things' going on, that even 4 dozen listens later, I am still discovering new things hidden in the many sounds of this CD. All tracks deserve a listen. Though many people bought this CD on the strength of "Bitter Sweet Symphony", the other treasures found following that song are just as great or greater. "Sonnet" weeps. I cannot listen to "The Drugs Don't Work" anymore - it's just too depressing, but it's sooooo good. The next six songs are perhaps the greatest collection of songs put together - "Catching The Butterfly" makes you feel you're up in the air with them; "Neon Wilderness" brings you back down to earth; "Space And Time" starts with an acoustic guitar, moving quickly to a rock based beat; "Weeping Willow" has some fabulous lyrics to compliment its super sound..."the world don't stop there ain't no time for cracking up believe me friend". "Lucky Man" is, I think, the best song on the CD. It is an anthem to end all anthems. It's acoustic beginning, ending in a stirring crescendo of violins is empowering to say the least. "One Day" delivers a sad sound but a great lyric - "tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end". The common thread holding these songs together is the music. It's the strongest element at work here. Sonically, it's the best CD with the most unique sounds. More importantly, they work with the lyrics and vocals, not against them. The orchestral sounds give the CD a more visceral strength. Richard Ashcroft is a great wordsmith - his lyrics are potent, socially aware and real. His vocals are sorrowful, sad, inspiring and right on target. This was a fitting end to The Verve, a great display for Richard Ashcroft's talents - now surfacing again with a solo career. Satisfying to the last chord.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Excellent album! One of the best albums I've ever listened. Masterpiece