Tuesday, August 26, 2008

JC Report review of The Verve


Put A Record On: The Verve Comes Forth

Band reunions are difficult to successfully pull off, but that hasn't stopped many bygone groups from trying. Some reformed lineups don't even bother writing new material, instead relying on a back catalogue of hits. Unsurprisingly, these reunions rarely last. Despite these odds, the Verve have buried the hatchet and produced Forth, an epic guitar-centered album that showcases a new, more mature incarnation of their already winning team.

The Manchester band was part of the British wave of '90s guitar rock bands, alongside Oasis, Manic Street Preachers and Ocean Colour Scene. And yet, the Verve always stood out from the pack with their strong performances and majestic compositions. Classics such as "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and "The Drugs Don't Work" are timeless songs, sing-a-long favorites and just plain beautiful music. Forth is a continuation of this beloved pop recipe, but remains refreshingly new.

Rumors suggest the Verve may be heading back down the road to a breakup, but we're grateful that they produced this grand album before facing their destiny. Richard Ashcroft's distinct voice lingers over larger-than-life guitars on "Valium Skies," while the band's neo-psychedelic credentials shine through on "Sit And Wonder." But it's first single "Love Is Noise" (see video above) that sums up the band itself: "Love is noise and love is pain/love is these blues I'm singing again."

For more information, see www.theverve.co.uk.
—David Hellqvist

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