6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Best Stone Roses Album Never Made,
This review is from: A Storm In Heaven (Audio CD)
First of all, A Storm in Heaven does not really sound anything at all like The Drugs Don't Work, or even Bittersweet Symphony. Richard Ashcroft doesn't exactly sound like you remember him sounding, either. In fact, he sounds a bit like Ian Brown at times, and so does this, the Verve's debut album - a trippier, less whimsical and '60s-influenced Roses however. A Storm in Heaven represents the evolution the Madchester four *should* have made.
Of course, it's perhaps a dead-end evolution, as if you join the dots from the electronica of New Order through the loose, baggy style of the Roses and then on through A Storm in Heaven, all that lies ahead is a sea of shoegazer music. Not that shoegazing is bad, but it means that A Storm in Heaven perhaps does not point the way forward for music in the manner in which New Order and the Stone Roses did, unless it's something too subtle for a non-musician like me to notice, though history proved that the band themselves went on to sound more typically indie (Urban Hymns).
It's also a comparison (the shoegazer one, I mean) that does A Storm in Heaven no favours, as this album is quite powerful at times, more so than My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive or anything like that.
So in conclusion: A Storm in Heaven is very good. It's quite subtle, nothing jumps out at you as anthemically as The Drugs Don't Work or later stuff like that, but I still recommend it as an essential purchase for Stone Roses fans interested in hearing what Second Coming sounded like in a (less disappointing) alternative universe, or for anyone else who wants a quite unusual album that both fits in with the early '90s scene and yet stands alone. It even provides a few precedents for Radiohead's Kid A. The only group who I wouldn't recommend this record to, ironically enough, are those who only liked the Verve of Bittersweet Symphony and The Drugs Don't Work.