Thursday, September 11, 2008

‘Forth’ – The Verve

EMI records

It’s been quite a while since the world has heard anything from the Verve, about ten years has passed in fact since their last offering, Urban Hymns, which gave us their infamous ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and ‘Lucky Man’. But nine years after their split and last year’s reformation we are given a new record from one of England’s most influential nineties rock acts. To give you an idea about the popularity of these boys, in Britain when they announced their reformation and tour last year tickets sold out in twenty minutes prompting them to announce a larger second tour soon after.

The opening track ‘Sit and Wonder’ establishes the feel for the entire record with a strangely beautiful mix of psychedelic guitars, heavy humming bass and more than competent drumming. The first single ‘Love Is Noise’ is one of the few upbeat (if you could call it that) songs on the album resulting in a welcome change from the somewhat depressing drabness that can plague British alternative rock for some listeners. There are a great range of songs on this record ranging from the lovey-dovey ‘Judas’ and ‘Valium Skies’ to the end of the night feeling ‘Numbness’ and ‘Columbo’. A definite stand out of this album has got to be the aptly titled ‘Noise Epic’, clocking in at over eight minutes and combining everything from monologue to an intense closing bridge this has probably got to be my favourite song of the record because it shows refreshing diversity that I haven’t seen in a band for a while.

All up this is a great return to form by The Verve, showing that whatever internal conflicts the band suffered from they have gotten over and are back on top of their game. Here’s hoping they can keep it up for another album or even come down to New Zealand (please!).

4 stars

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