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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No denying class...
The critics will always be there and they will undoubtedly always be the ones who profess that Urban Hymns was the best Verve album and that since then Richard Ashcroft has been heading downhill fast with no brakes. There may indeed have been some weak moments on Alone with Everybody but this, the second solo offering since the split of Verve sees the former front man and...
Published on 19 May 2003

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame with only 4 tracks worth a listen.....
Having just spent a few days with this CD tryin to at least cherry pick my way through it , it has to be said it is lame beyond belief.
How Ashcroft could plummet to this state of affairs only makes me wonder why the hell he hasn't continued (once again) with his essential musical muse in Mcabe.
His woefull Johnny Cashisms and painfull godisms get some serious...
Published on 10 Nov 2009 by Lost Classics


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No denying class..., 19 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
The critics will always be there and they will undoubtedly always be the ones who profess that Urban Hymns was the best Verve album and that since then Richard Ashcroft has been heading downhill fast with no brakes. There may indeed have been some weak moments on Alone with Everybody but this, the second solo offering since the split of Verve sees the former front man and main protagonist in rock's higher quest continue his attempt to tackle the mysteries on love and life and everything inbetween - mighty stuff indeed. And all done with an oh so passionate approach.
And the thing that amazes is that he pulls it off with such swaggering self belief that respect can only be given with a pinch of grudging admiration - and that is afterall what Ashcroft expects. This is a musician who sees life's path leading him into a crusade to educate the masses - so he isn't the young prancing self-proclaimed rock messiah of ten years ago, and his musical vision is a reflection of this.
This album offers us countless surprises and they are all in the details. The whole album flows seamlessly, each song giving up new facets upon repeated listening.And that is the Key that Ashcroft wants us to use to enter his world. Patience is definitely rewarded in abundance. From the vintage keys that open God in the Numbers to the 'heavenly' cascading harp on Paradise to the double tracked vocal style and orchestrated strings that run through the whole album... This is truly an unnerving confident soundscape without the immature arrogance of too many of rock's wannabes – An absolute classic....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashcroft returns with convincing verve, 13 Nov 2002
By 
N. Mancini "Mancini" (Cranston, RI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
Nobody can produce the soundtrack of human emotion like Richard Ashcroft. Ashcroft, the former lead singer and songwriter of the now-defunct Verve, returns to the symphonic-based introspective style of his first solo album, Alone with Everybody, with Human Conditions, a ten-track voyage through the psyche of one British rock's most purely interesting stars. Human Conditions represents the next step of Ascroft's phsychological recovery and self-discovery, but is emblematic for the inner struggles of all individuals. His sound is soothing and his message is universal and real, not feigned like so many of today's pop-folk guitar strummers. Human Conditions can only truly be appreciated for its full value in the context of all the Verve's work and Ashcroft's first solo album, but can still be embraced by those not willing or able to dedicate themselves to those other several albums. Taken alone, the album is a beautiful and triumphant escape from the doldrumms of rejection, loss, and sorrow that plagued Richard throughout a period of his life. Taken alongside the other works, Human Conditions is a medicine for the soul and a continuation of Ashcroft's examination of the full spectrum of emotion through music. Track by track, Human Conditions takes us into Richard Ashcroft's world, and in doing so, strikes a chord in each of us. His knack for doing just this is no new talent though, clear in all his works since the Verve EP and A Storm in Heaven. Take the chance and let Richard in....once you do, in your soul he'll remain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music worth listening to......, 1 Nov 2002
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
Yes, I read the 1-star Amazon review, and also some terrible slatings in the British press, but I got so much in the way of connection from 'Urban Hymns' and 'Alone with Everybody' that I had to listen for myself. So, one filthy Friday afternoon, I slid 'Human Conditions' into the CD changer and drove onto the M25 in monsoon conditions for the 3-hour drive home.
My initial impression was 'good job it was only a tenner'. But more miles followed and the sounds began to find their place. What starts off seeming as crowded as that wet motorway actually has a lot of space around it. Others have said that excessive running times and plodding tempos are the order of the day, but not to my 34-year-old-ears. All the songs are interesting and the album works comfortably as a package, though I agree with the Sunday Times' opinion that some of it sounds like a demo version - the intro to 'Sounds of Silence' in particular. I would also have preferred an acoustic version of 'Nature is the Law' to wind-down the running order, rather than the pseudo-Elvis number that made the final cut.
My only real problem is with the drums. Pete Salisbury is a lovely player, but he's too low in the mix and why did they need someone to programme alongside him? What a waste of time - what's so wrong with setting up the kit, engineeering the sound and getting on with it?! Certain frustratingly ordinary and repetitive rhythms loses them a point and a half, but I can't vote 3.5 stars!
Whatever, when one's favourite track changes with every listen you know you're on to a winner. 'Human Conditions' matches every thinking thirty-something's frame of reference. Check the message - imagine the songs in a live context and open your mind to what is being said. Ashcroft hasn't yet made a gap you want in your music collection, so spend your tenner and give the man some of your time.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashcroft is back - with some classics too, 2 Nov 2002
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
Well i have to say as a huge Verve fan I was dissapointed with Alone With Everybody. It had a few good songs but nothing like Urban Hymns or A Northern Soul. Excited by the prostect of this new Album "Human Conditions" I bought it straight away. I was blown away. This album is absoloutely fantastic. Check The Meaning screams Verve at you, but before you know it we really delve deep into Ashcroft as a solo aritst. Buy It In Bottles is sure to be classic. The melody, the lyrics it's all so addicive. And as the album progresses, Ashcrofts darker side that was lost on Alone With Eveybody returns most triumphantly with God In Numbers. It is a song so remincent of early Verve and the like found on Storm In Heaven. Ashcroft blends this darkness with poppier upbeat tunes on tracks such as Science In Silence and Nature Is The Law. But it's not the tracks on this album, it's how they fit together and how they move you through every emotion.
This has to be the best album for a long while along with Coldplay's A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Although I doubt that good music will ever return to the top, at least the real music is still alive and kicking in the form of this tremendous album. If you loved the Verve, liked Alone with Everybody,then you must buy this because it will blow your socks off!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the critics, this is very very good!, 13 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
I can't believe some of the harsh reviews I've read here, because this is quite simply a great album. It starts superbly with "Check The Meaning", and just carries on from there. "Buy it in Bottles" brings back memories of The Drugs Don't Work, and Paradise has a killer chorus. There's loads going on here and you just have to be impressed with the consistency of Ashcroft's song writing. My personal favourites though are probably the last two tracks. On "Lord I've been Trying" he sounds very much like Neil Diamond and on "Nature is the Law" we hear shades of Elvis. Fantastic stuff, and how anyone can give it 1 star is beyond me!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Can you hear what he's sayin?, 27 Oct 2002
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
I have read Rod from Tokyos reveiw and upon first hearing would have given a similar conclusion to Mr Ashcroft's no 2 album. Upon further listening though, different views appear. Chris potter's production is in one word immaculate in another sqeaky clean. But you hear method in what could be seen as madness. Never has Richard Ashcrofts voice sounded so majestic as on album opener 'check the meaning'. Comparable to Dion or Scott Walkers grandest statements, you hear a sweet, smooth ( yet a little sinister ) musical backing, fronted by a towering vocal which like Bing or Frank becomes AN INSTRUMENT! The other diverse songs come in the form of 'lord i've been trying', 'nature is the law', 'pleasure', 'god in the numbers'. All great peices of music, with country, classical, blues, and pet sounds all coming in to play. It's THAT voice though that gives it a razor sharp edge. The music glides, pushes and translates emotion to accompany THE VOICE. So in the end.... Its really special, just like Richard Ashcroft always promises.
By the way, I take it everyone elses heart melted when hearing the 'nature is the law' backing vocal. Two hard working perfectionists on one recorded peice of music. It sure beats will young and gareth gates churning stomachs on that beatle duet!
Keep the faith. The word is love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ritchies Back!, 24 April 2003
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
A typical Ashcroft album. Great raw vocals, big guitar riffs and of course, inspired lyrics as illustrated in 'Man On A Mission'. This is one of a number of more upbeat songs than previously, 'Bright Lights' being another good example (and also my favourite!). The slower, moody songs are still there in numbers and many have a huge orchestral background sound like the hit single 'Check The Meaning'. A very powerful album which is certainly no disappointment.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Lame with only 4 tracks worth a listen....., 10 Nov 2009
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
Having just spent a few days with this CD tryin to at least cherry pick my way through it , it has to be said it is lame beyond belief.
How Ashcroft could plummet to this state of affairs only makes me wonder why the hell he hasn't continued (once again) with his essential musical muse in Mcabe.
His woefull Johnny Cashisms and painfull godisms get some serious laughs and dispairing sighs around this camp fire.
There are 4 songs worth a listen.
1.Check the meaning - best track though painfully too long. Stick it in an editior and fade about 3.30 and you've got a sweet sweet track.
2.Bright lights - most rockin track with great tabla action just once again like the whole album its too damn long. The fake ending needs chopping off if your gonna go back for repeat listens, but still a solid 8/10
3.Science of silence - horrendous cheesys synth riff intro thats straight from "Lean on Me" aside it makes the grade.
4.Man on a mission - nice upbeat and hynotic melody goes on again like you knows it would be still a good track.

well thats it 4 tracks worthy of the man and the rest are pure VAL DOONICAN for the noughties. Ashcroft is an amazing song writer who on this album lost his way so far its hard to beleive he could come back.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hymns Of God and Nature, 11 May 2004
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
Richard Ashcroft first solo outing "Alone With Everybody" could have been seen as a false start and a little bit of a dissapointment after The Verves final album "Urban Hymns". While "Alone With Everybody" being a decent album in its own right it failed to ever really grab your attention.
"Human Conditions" is a marked improvement however. It starts off with probably Ashcrofts best single he's released The Verves split. At 8 minutes long "Check The Meaning really should drag but it never does unlike a lot of his solo material. The haunting string section and hypnotising guitar riff set the tone for quite a dark mysterious song and along with a killer Ashcroft vocal it's certainly one of Human Conditions highlights.
"Buy It In Bottles" is another highlight. One of those songs when you hear it the first time you think you'd heard it a thousand times before. It could have quite easily been taken off "Urban Hymns".
The album continues with "Bright Lights", "Paradise" and "God In The Numbers". Songs that are pretty fine in their own right with "God In The Numbers" especially setting an incredible atmosphere.
Science of Silence is an uplifting, string dominated song which fits the album well, this seems to be a song which portrays Ashcroft setting himself as a fine solo artist and not just the frontman of The Verve who's trying to recapture former glories. The lyrics and song show that Ashcroft is a happy man and setteling down in life.
The album then goes through "Running Away" and "Man On A Mission" which unfortuntly just seem to pass you by much like the majority of his first solo album "Alone With Everybody" and maybe should have been replaced by better efforts to put the man back on the map
"Lord I've Been Trying" however is Ashcroft at his finest. A beautiful song which is very reminisent of "One Day" on Urban hymns. Nevertheless if the song fails to move you check for a pulse.
"Nature Is The Law" ends the album on a sour note however despite using the talents of 60s genius Brian Wilson. It unfortuntly falls flat with over and unessercary production and no sense of direction in the song dragging out for far too long.
Despite the flat note it ends on "Human Conditions" is a good solid album with Ashcroft really establishing himself as a solo artist though in a similar way to Alone With Everybody lacks something to make it a truly classic album, Nick McCabe is needed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars True, perfect, timeless, 14 Aug 2009
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
This is Ashcroft at his confessional best. Always one to wear his heart on his sleeve, this album is his cathartic work, straight from his soul, the best collections of songs from all his verve and solo work, it rings with authenticity, beauty, and ultimately acceptance of death and a real sense of wonder of how it is to be alive.
Maybe one day this will be recognised as a definitive statement that it is on the 'human condition'
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Human Conditions
Human Conditions by Richard Ashcroft (Audio CD - 2002)
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