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Verve - Forth

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 6 / 9 / 2008

Verve - Forth
Label: Parlophone
Format: CD


Lazy and somewhat formulaic fourth album and first CD in eleven years from the Verve

The mighty Verve return with ‘Forth’,their first new album in eleven years. I had big hopes for it as live on TV pre album release on some of the new tracks they were playing they had returned to the more spaced out sound of their 1993 debut album and masterpiece ‘A Storm in Heaven’. Sadly most of this could be passed off as a mere Richard Ashcroft album, only with a better backing band. ‘Sit and Wonder’ opens it, and, at almost 7 minutes long, is big and spacey and, with Richard returns here to the soul searching mannerisms of his past, sounded promising. ‘Love is Noise’, which follows it, just missed the number one spot, but this album went in at number one to make up for it. Sadly these opening two tracks are two of the better songs on here. ‘Rather, Be’, the next single, has a solid groove to it and finds Ashcroft in classic form. ‘Judas’ is very couples friendly, as is his solo material, but has some great guitar lines from Nick McCabe on it to remind us that this is the Verve, and not Ashcroft solo. ‘Numbness’ sounds like a moody Lennon or Ian McNabb with enough rough edges and a guitar solo to get totally lost in. ‘I See Houses’ is another couples-based pop number, but quite lazy lyrically. ‘Noise Epic’ is spaced out, basically a jam, quite fast for the Verve, with a vocal that is more spoken, than sung, and which sounds more like Anthony Reynolds than Ashcroft. It is one of the better tracks here, until it becomes too muddy and prog rock in tone. ‘Valium Skies’ is sadly simply a reworking of their famous ‘Lucky Man’ single. ‘Columbo’ is interesting enough with decent grooves and weird guitars lines from Nick, while ‘Appalachian Springs’ brings the album to a finish in true album closer style. For me, the whole album though is simply ‘Urban Hymns 2’, which really isn't good enough for me.

Track Listing:-
1 Sit And Wonder
2 Love Is Noise
3 Rather Be
4 Judas
5 Numbness
6 I See Houses
7 Noise Epic
8 Valium Skies
9 Columbo
10 Appalachian Springs
11 Digital Booklet: Forth

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