- Audio CD (11 Oct. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Atomic Heart Records
- ASIN: B003ZUWBFE
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,729 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
A - Z Volume 2 CD
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With a name perfect for writing on pencil cases, Ash embraced their own adolescence in 1996 with the exuberant breakthrough album 1977, named after lead singer Tim Wheeler’s year of birth. It succeeded in two ways: it sold well and reclaimed rock for the kids. Free All Angels, their third album, rescued a second album dip by beating Janet Jackson to number one in 2001. But have they now, like the now-defunct Supergrass, outgrown their selling point?
This is the second collection of singles (following Volume 1’s A-M) originally released fortnightly throughout 2010, to the shrugging indifference of the top 40, if it still exists. It is their embrace of the digital age on… well, CD, and plays to their strengths as a singles band.
To write a hit single once a fortnight is challenging, and occasionally such prolific song-writing is their undoing. Insect’s string of rhymes lacks emotional punch and plods in a way singles really shouldn’t. You could argue the band misses the female touch (Charlotte Hatherley left for solo pastures in 2006), that they are trying too hard, and that this album sometimes feels like a project for the band rather than the listeners. But the energy that sometimes outstrips their skill illustrates that they remain young at heart.
The US college punk of Mind Control and the anthemic Binary prove they have not lost their grip on a good song, as does Change Your Name ("Rise up / you’ll get stronger"), which will appeal to Oasis fans, as will the ‘self-help to thrash guitars’ of Summer Snow, which has a solo screaming to be played while swinging on ropes above an audience. It is a shame that Carnal Love’s melodies are let down by a poor, whiney vocal and banal lines such as "I’m addicted to your sweet stuff". But the electronics-laced There Is Hope Again points the way to their future in more ways than one.
Their days of beating Janet Jackson to number one may have passed, but there is apparently plenty of what led them there left in the tank.--Tom Hocknell
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Top Customer Reviews
What happens next is an interesting one...
There was a lot of quality on Volume 1 from Ash, but this second volume is much worse. A few tracks stand out such as ''Binary'' and ''Spellbound'' but there are lot's of terrible songs here too. I sincerely feel that Ash should have taken 12 of the best tracks (out of 36 in total) and put them together as a solid album. They could have released a couple of tracks as singles and put some of the worse tracks on as B-sides just like bands like Oasis used to. I don't think they should have done this just to sell a few records, but they should have done it so that they gave their fans a short concise album full of wicked tracks instead of making us flick through the albums to find the ones we like.
One thing is definitely clear, these albums are not the sort that you would listen to from start to finish. Not often anyway. And to any Ash fans out there who are wondering about A-Z, I would advise you to buy Volume 1 instead. If you absolutely adore Volume 1 and think it's the best thing Ash have ever done, then you might just about like Volume 2. Otherwise, avoid buying it and simply download the song Binary from Itunes or soemthing.
But, as with a lot of albums, a couple of listens later and I feel its a solid collection of songs. Maybe not a great 'album', but the majority of the songs have a lot to offer.
A solid 4 out of 5 from me!
From track one's stadium anthem of Dare to Dream to Spell Bounds 80's beats this album wreaks class.
Insects driving lead guitar, Binary's absolute class, Physical Worlds immense catchiness, Spheres's brilliant bass line half way thorugh, Summer Snow's fantastic lyrics, Carnal Loves Repeatative but catchy chorus, Embers Pure rock Toungue Twisting Vocals, Sky Burials long brilliance and Change your Names Subtle amazingness makes this a must listen for Ash fans old and new.... and if you've ever loved Ash but let them get to the back of your ipod playlist this really is the album to get you to fall in love with them again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've given this a long time and a lot of listens before arriving at the conclusion that it's a 5 star collection of tunes! Yes, volume 1 was immediately a hit. Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2014 by Den