Urban Hymns

Urban Hymns

5.0 12
by The Verve
     
 

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The Verve split in 1995 after two albums and a particularly disastrous, hedonistic American tour. When Brit-pop icons Oasis championed their cause and wrote a song, "Cast No Shadow," about the group's charismatic singer, "Mad" Richard Ashcroft, the Verve regrouped and surprised all by delivering one of the great British rock albums of the late

Overview

The Verve split in 1995 after two albums and a particularly disastrous, hedonistic American tour. When Brit-pop icons Oasis championed their cause and wrote a song, "Cast No Shadow," about the group's charismatic singer, "Mad" Richard Ashcroft, the Verve regrouped and surprised all by delivering one of the great British rock albums of the late 1990s. A northern English five-piece that borrows from '60s rock and psychedelia while recalling '80s bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and Aztec Camera, the Verve wore their influences prominently on Urban Hymns' opening hit single, "Bittersweet Symphony," which used a sample from a Rolling Stones orchestral album as its foundation and catapulted the album to prominence and platinum sales. This classic rock stomp epitomized the re-formed band's newly found confidence with its emotional power, which featured Ashcroft singing with unequivocal passion of life's painfully simple struggles underneath those soaring strings. Nothing else on Urban Hymns quite matches the majesty of "Bittersweet Symphony" but plenty of songs challenge, especially the ballad "The Drugs Don't Work," the yearning mid-tempo love songs "Sonnet" and "Lucky Man," and the raucous finale "Come On."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Not long after the release of A Northern Soul, the Verve imploded due to friction between vocalist Richard Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe. It looked like the band had ended before reaching its full potential, which is part of the reason why their third album, Urban Hymns -- recorded after the pair patched things up in late 1996 -- is so remarkable. Much of the record consists of songs Ashcroft had intended for a solo project or a new group, yet Urban Hymns unmistakably sounds like the work of a full band, with its sweeping, grandiose soundscapes and sense of purpose. The Verve have toned down their trancy, psychedelic excursions, yet haven't abandoned them -- if anything, they sound more muscular than before, whether it's the trippy "Catching the Butterfly" or the pounding "Come On." These powerful, guitar-drenched rockers provide the context for Ashcroft's affecting, string-laden ballads, which give Urban Hymns its hurt. The majestic "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and the heartbreaking, country-tinged "The Drugs Don't Work" are an astonishing pair, two anthemic ballads that make the personal universal, thereby sounding like instant classics. They just are the tip of the iceberg -- "Sonnet" is a lovely, surprisingly understated ballad, "The Rolling People" has a measured, electric power, and many others match their quality. Although it may run a bit too long for some tastes, Urban Hymns is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. It is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/28/2008
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724384491314
catalogNumber:
44913
Rank:
25582

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Verve   Primary Artist
Simon Jones   Bass Guitar
Richard Ashcroft   Guitar,Vocals
Nick McCabe   Guitar
Peter Salisbury   Drums
Simon Tong   Guitar,Keyboards
Wil Malone   Conductor

Technical Credits

Youth   Producer
Verve   Producer
Chris Potter   Engineer
Mel Wesson   Programming
Brian Cannon   Director
Mathew Sankey   Director
Martin Catherall   Director
Christopher Marc Potter   Producer,Engineer
Paul Anthony Taylor   Programming
Wil Malone   String Arrangements

Customer Reviews

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Urban Hymns 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Verve may have some termoil, but they make great music. Every song on the album is excellent and worth listening to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say, as soon as the strings of Bitter Sweet Symphony hit you you're transported into a new world!! Flying high above reality, a rollercoster of emotions taking you back through memories lost and found! This album will mess with your mind man!! Keep cathing the butterfly and Come on are classic and the guitar solo on The Rolling people will blow you away!!! Weeping willow and This time are undiscribable and velvet morning will take you to the peaks of reality!! In the words of Ashcroft ' To write about the peaks you have to reach them and to write about the depths you have to go there aswell!!!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
what an amazing album that gets better and better with each listen! emotional and sad, yet uplifting in many ways...you'll be dancing like a fool and screaming ''come on'' with richard on the last track or you'll be lying on your bed singing softly to The Drugs Don't Work...this definitely is an emotional roller coaster ride you'll be taking over and over again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this CD. I'm only 13, but I know good music when I hear it! I think that the songs are all true and that it's a real shame that they don't have another cd after this. I would love to meet the verb personally!!! I love their songs!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! Thats all i have to say...that is by far the greatest albums I've ever had the pleasure to hear! I usually call albums CD's but this definately deserves to be on my ALBUM shelf! Keep up the GRAND WORK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a long long long time years in fact I have heard the sweet symphony song but never knew what it's name was. Now I know, I feel uplifted. It is a amazing song with beautiful singing and that dramatic strings in the backround is powerful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought it based on a song I heard in the movie "Girl Next Door" (Lucky Man) and I was not disappointed!! I have listened to it about 10 times already and it gets better everytime. I especially like tracks #1,8, 9,11. I just wish they hadn't split up, I'd love to hear more!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this cd. it was because of track one that makes it so heart stopping
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quite possibly "One of the Greatest British Albums", the Verve creates a mid-tempo classic. The songs are about love, loneliness, hope, and personal philosophy. Richard Ashcroft sings with great spirit and the music is etched with precision, making every note important. The Verve's best! ***POSITIVES - Brilliant! A Modern Day Classic! ***NEGATIVES - Not necessarily for heavy rockers. ***Note: The Verve broke up in 1998.***STAND-OUT TRACKS - "Bittersweet Symphony", "Sonnet", "The Rolling People", "The Drugs Don't Work", "Space and Time", "Lucky Man"
HannaLA1212 More than 1 year ago
The Verve signature tune is good to listen to when working.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago