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A Northern Soul
A Northern Soul
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £4.43

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their finest, darkest hour, 9 Jan. 2004
This review is from: A Northern Soul (Audio CD)
It makes my blood boil when people talk about this album as a warm up to Urban Hymns. This was the album the Verve were born to make. It's the sound of a band locked on a collision course to the bottom of their souls (yeah I kind of nicked that from 'This is Music', my favourite track here). Every one of the band shines darkly on this album - Salisbury's rock solid rolling drums, Jones' rumbling bass grooves, McCabe's [swear word]ing brilliant vast rain clouds of guitar, and Ashcroft's raw bottled pain. It's also produced perfectly with a real gritty sound throughout (especially the vocals - I can hardly listen to the blandified sugary production of the vocals on Urban Hymns after this).
Yes the slower tracks are worth the asking price alone, but for me this album is all about the white noise/dark grooves of A New Decade, This is Music and the ear-bleeding feedback of the last track.
Urban Hymns to me is Richard Ashcroft with a backing band. This album is The Verve, a [swear word again]ing amazing band from Wigan who no longer really existed by the time they recorded their next album.

Offered by 247dvd
Price: £3.99

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soundtrack to the English disaster, 21 July 2003
This review is from: Maxinquaye (Audio CD)
The thing that really sets this album apart from anything else produced in the last 10 years (including Tricky's other albums) is the lyrics. Like reading Shakespeare or listening to the ramblings of a drunk it takes a while to make sense of the words and realise just how much wisdom there is lying beneath:
"You feed me lies, distortion - the English disaster"
"I was raised in this place, now concrete is my religion"
"We're hungry, beware of our appetite"
I could try writing paragraph after paragraph about the different meanings I take from these lyrics and why I think they show us how ugly and scary an institution modern British culture can be, but I could never get the point across the way Tricky does. You know when you hear a tune and it's so good that you're convinced you've heard it before? Well that's how I feel about the words on this album - they sound like they were just waiting for someone to say them.
It's not just the lyrics either - the music creates the paranoid mood the lyrics evoke and the lyrics describe the dark lonely places the music takes you to, making it almost impossible to seperate the two. The beats are disjointed and messy - but never just for the sake of it. The chopped up ideas and phrases and the layering of different vocal parts on every song takes you to the twisted place the narrator is living in.
8 years down the line and this album still sounds ahead of the game - phrases like trip-hop and chilled-out are deceptive (even insulting), save them for baby food music like morcheeba. I rank this album up there with all the classics - astral weeks, the stone roses, dylan, marley. I just hope time proves me right!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2015 2:01 AM BST

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