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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 2 September 2001
Richard Ashcroft has hit the right note with his debut solo album 'Alone With Everybody.' It is a superb mix of melancholy, tranquille melodies and some riproaring tunes. The Verve split and i was gutted to say the least. Their music still lights up my day, but at least Richie is still going. A Song For Lovers was the perfect song to open his solo career with, not dissimilar to Bittersweet symphony with its orchestrial sound.The next two are great songs to chill out to. 'I get my beat' and 'Brave New World' clearly show Richie's new optimistic outlokk on life and show you into the rest of the album, as it becomes a bit more frantic with 'New York' with Richie back to his best droning out "chooooning in New York." Superb. You on my mind in my sleep is gracious and clearly a message to his partner and baby. Then you get the sense that Ashcroft is back to his best with 'Crazy World' with perhaps the greatest lyrics ever "Its burning on my brain loke a desert train locust, i find it hard to love i find it hard to focus" WOW! The next song is a classic. On a Beach is slow, beautiful and uncaring. Money to burn is another single which is rash and hard without ever hitting the peaks you'd like it too. Slow was my heart is absolutely top draw. Beautiful, music to cry to. The lyrics are outstanding. C'mon People is my favourite, it sounds like Verve and it mirrors his on stage shout of C'mon! Then it finishes with Everybody which shows Richie's sypathetic and caring side, the lyrics carefully planned and just hit the right chord. This album is out of this world. Your life is shallow without it! Richard Ashcroft wil surely go down as one of the greatest songwiters and performers ever. He is chronically underrated. Can't wait foir the new material!
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on 29 August 2008
"Alone with Everybody" first soloalbum? The follow up to "Urban Hymns"?
Isn't "Forth" in fact The Verve's follow up to 1995's "A northern Soul"?

Because of Richard Ashcroft's nervousness and reluctance to make "Urban Hymns" his first solo album it is sometimes a bit hard to tell what is verve album and what is solo-albums...

"A northern soul" is a verve album. The original four participated in songwriting and production of the album. The same goes for new album "Forth". But "Urban Hymns" started of with only 3 members; Richard, Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. And was to be the first Richard solo album. Richard wrote the songs.

A friend from Wigan, their base town Simon Tong was drafted in to play guitar and keyboards.

Back to "Alone with everybody":
A lot of people love this album and quite a few has criticized it for being too slick and mid-tempo. I really like this album. But I must admit that there is a little truth to what the critics has argued.
But to call this album AOR-radiofriedly blah-blah.. is overstating it. The same people gave "Urban Hymns" 6 star reviews for exactly those virtues that they criticized a few years later...

I will in the following argue that this album is the real contender for "Urban Hymns" explaining about a little history and facts and that there is so many similarities on the two albums and how a little editing in the track order and omitting a few songs for a couple of b-sides will make the album truly work to it's best! For the sessions for this album sessions did produce a GREAT body of work!

Many of the songs on this album was recorded for The Verves Urban Hymns but didn't make it. A lot of this has to do with the fact that guitarist for The Verve, Nick McCabe, had returned to the group in the last stages of recording Urban Hymns.

"Urban Hymns" went from the first solo album by Richard Ashcroft to the Verve's third album.

They pulled some songs off overdubbed McCabes guitar on already finished songs and re-recorded some songs and recorded some "new" songs among them "The Rolling People" and "Come on" both from around the time of The Verve's second album "A northern Soul". Two new tracks also came along "Catching the butterfly" and "Neon Wilderness".

Considering that many of the songs on this album were from the period of Urban hymns and that the band on "Alone with everybody"consisted of Peter Salisbury, drummer from The Verve, and BJ Cole, pedal steel player who replaced Verve guitarist Nick McCabe on the last part of the Verve's tour for "Urban Hymns", and that it also has the engineer and co-producer Chris Potter and string arranger Will Mallone doing what they did on "Urban Hymns" makes it kindda hard to say that this is the first solo album.

I know it is in name. But to me and I believe a lot of Verve fans this is really the second soloalbum with help from Verve drummer Peter Salisbury, Chris Potter and Will Malone all key players on "Urban Hymns".

As the second soloalbum it makes perfect sense. It has the same multilayered production of "Urban Hymns" relying, for the most part, on midtempo songs with string arrangements. The difference is that Richard plays the guitars assisted by pedal steel player BJ Cole instead of Nick McCabe and Simon Tong. And there is no doubt that Richard has a lot of the same effect pedals as Nick McCabe using the guitar to paint colors like McCabe more than playing the correct chords and licks. Richard's guitarplaying is great, turn up "New York" and "Crazy World" in the layers of production is great distorted guitar roles!

Pino Palladino is playing bass and does a fine job laying down the groove with Peter Salisbury.

There is a lot of similarities on the two albums. The difference is more in the mood. There is a more upbeat feeling on "Alone with everybody". The songs lyrics are indeed a little happier. There's more "Lucky man" ("Urban Hymns" track)than there is "The drugs don't work"/"Velvet Morning". The balance is a bit more on the dark side on "Urban Hymns".

For my personal taste a couple of tracks shouldn't have made it, "Slow was my heart" and "On a beach" should have been b-sides and instead two of the b-sides "Precious stone" and "Make a wish" should have gone on the album instead. The tracklist should have been:

Crazy world
A song for the lovers
Brave new world
New York
Precious Stone
I got my beat
Make a wish
Money to burn
You on my mind in your sleep
C'mon people
Everybody

This tracklisting makes for a less slick a bit less mid tempo ballads album. It's a bit darker and the dynamic is better I think, it makes it more natural when more upbeat stuff sets in. I have always liked this album a lot and has always been a bit frustrated to find out where it kind of went off. I like the songs i would have preferred off the album.

But to get that "blue/big/personal" (how do you describe Ashcroft & Co.'s great sonic abilities) feeling of a cohesive album I think my changes a for the best.

Anyways, with a few changes in the track order and two b-sides and two songs off This is indeed a GREAT album and the REAL follow up to "Urban Hymns".
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on 9 May 2004
The Verve split during the height of their fame after their masterpiece "Urban Hymns" which left fans excited upon Richard Ashcrofts first solo outing.
He was the spirit of The Verves "Urban Hymns" album with the majority of the songs being credited to him.
Even though it's unfair to compare The Verve and Richard Ashcroft Nick McCabes driving guitar force is missed greatly. For the most part the album is overcoated with strings and
despite some wonderful melodies and key changes as seen on "Brave New World" and the Motown vibed "C'Mon People We're Making It Now" you always feel that the albums lacking something.
It seems to be crying out for a Rolling People or a This Is Music. There are also no stand out songs on it, it floats along nicely giving you a fairly chilled out feel good experience but nothing really to kick you in the face or send the shivers up your spine as sngs like The Drugs Don't Work or History did for you.
It's not without it's merits, Ashcroft certainly still has a fantastic songwriting ability and he still has one of the finest rock and roll voices around today. It's certainly a plesent listening experience though nothing to make you sit up and take notice.
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on 26 May 2001
Many people think that The Verve was Richard Ashcroft but to overlook Nick McCabes' contributions would be foolish. McCabes' sublime guitar work gave The Verves' work a powerful yet totally unique sound and so when listening to Alone With Everybody one must do so with no pre-conceived ideas about its sound. Alone With Everybody is Ashcrofts album, he plays most instruments on every song but with all due respect Richard is no genius like McCabe. The songs are now driven mostly by Ashcrofts voice, moving away from the powerful melodic guitar lines. The new arrangement works however, due probably to the heartfelt lyrics. This is an album through which Richard looks to a happy future with his wife and child, moving away from the darker earlier Verve work. The songs move from upbeat pop with A Song For The Lovers and C'mon People to beautiful ballads like You On My Mind In My Sleep and Slow Was My Heart. However the closing Everybody hints at his past melancholic epics but this time the sadness is laced with hope. Overall this is a new direction for Richard Ashcroft and it is a direction in which he should continue. The songs capture a new side to his music and I for one cannot wait for more solo works from the great man.
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on 23 May 2015
What a brilliant album,no fillers,all thrillers.The first 4,5 tracks really are good, the songs are the stars here.After this,the songs/mood lightens somewhat, then the penultimate track livens up the album leaving you ready to listen again.Excellent record.Captain Rock,indeed.
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on 17 October 2002
i cannot get over how fantastic this album is! every song is just pure quality from start to finish! i was quite a big fan of the verve and was unsure what to expect when Mr Ashcroft went solo but can truthfully say this is one of the best albums i own! from the haunting open chord of song for the lovers, you just know this album is gonna be something pretty damn special! my personal faves are get my beat, you on my mind in my sleep and C'mon people we're making it now! but there's just so much beautiful music on this cd! slow was my heart is so full of emotion, it the perfect song to wallow in about lost love and brave new world is perhaps the strongest song musically on the album!
i just love this album to bits and encourage everyone to do their cd collection a favour and add this to it! its the kind of album that you just want to hide yourself away with and just listen to it on repeat forever! its so full of love and energy, its amazing! Mr Ashcroft, congratulations on this piece of perfection and i cant wait for ur new album and seeing you live! in the words of money to burn, im so glad i met you!
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on 16 April 2016
I must say it took me a few listens to appreciate this album.
I didn't know much about Richard Ashcrofts solo record or albums till a bit later. I brought 2002s Human Conditions on the strength of the Urban Hymns record which managed to give a listen around that same year.

I suppose, to appreciate any of Richard Ashcrofts solo records you really need to hear The Verves Northern Soul and Urban Hymns and then you get a better idea of where his music is coming from.
I must say, when I first heard this album...I was a bit disappointed. It seemed to focused on being dramatic, big orchestras, then slow moving songs.

But if you listen to it many times you will grasp that its much better than you might of thought.

New York is clearly the big song here along with Money to Burn. I kind of think some of the b sides from the singles would of made better playlists for this record.
Such as Make a Wish.
Just to give it a bit of variety....many of the songs sound to similar.
They are well written though and the recording production is probably one of the best I've heard on any record.

So I would say as a record, its Richard Ashcrofts best. Although I have a feeling that "These People" might be the better one when its released, or at least equal this.
But I have a feeling its a much more direct record from the two tracks I've heard so far.
It won't be the most obvious great album but it will feature a style not done at all by Richard Ashcroft yet.
As long as he's kept the songs straight forward it always works out alright.
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on 30 April 2001
Urban Hymns was the Verve. This is Richard Ashcroft. Thats the difference and thats what makes this a fantastic album. No messing about it gets right in there and tickles yer soul. Powerful pumping tunes, haunting melodies and words that inspire. What an album!!!! Even better than the album?? Seeing the man live. Buy it, not because of Urban Hymns, but because this man is amazing.
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on 16 June 2014
I've so far seen a few fair personal reviews of this album but considering it's a debut album of an artist.... forgetting all the (not so long past I know) band-input. Please clear your mind of that stuff and listen / enjoy a breath of fresh-air with this album.
Like i've titled this already... it all depends how you approach the album...

At first... I didn't know what to expect... but that's what a debut album should be about. I know that most people will expect the same-old repetitive new-age re-hash of the old-school (If I can dare to call it) tunes but why not let the singer try-out with his own taste in music or style (to whatever might fit-in with today's society or accepeted musical demographic). Give this album a try or even a chance... sorry but if your wanting The Verve - you will only find samples of it....

I agree when Richard said to Jo Whiley in a Ch4 interview {see it on YouTube [not promoting] } - (something along the lines) - '' I think that's the problem i'll have... (regarding the record) is that everyone will be thinking about The Verve''... and that fits in with this album... clear your head of The Verve past recordings... Think Richard Ashcroft's voice with debated (I know) lyrics & vocals... and well a clear well-produced/sung/recorded debut album....

For who and what this record is I can't really fault it (personally).

Stand out tracks for me are - Brave New World & You In My Mind In My Sleep

Overall 8/10
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on 29 September 2015
Marvellous debut album by Ashcroft. Apparently some of these songs were written for The Verve whilst he was still a member and you can envisage some of them being at home on Urban Hymns. All tracks have good melodies.
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