It's great to re visit some of my earlier musical choices to see if the music is still fresh. I can remember this being so different & original that it frightened a lot of people into the arms of Oasis. Some would have us believe that there was more than just professional jealousy involved but I prefer to think that there was a healthy amount of mutual respect with maybe a hint of competition. Either way, we got the best out of both bands at this time & it continued for many years. Great album with a rawness that is still as fresh as the day it was cut.
Probably like a lot of people, I heard Bitterweet Symphony and then Urban Hymns first in 1997. I got this a year or so later and it blew me away. Easily in my view their best album. The album flows perfectly, the band's chemistry is apparent on every track, you can tell they're a true democracy here and because of this Richard Ashcroft's natural swagger is subtle rather than cringeworthy. The band have always had a psychedelic dimension, Urban Hymns has it's spaced out moments too, so the comparisons with shoegaze are probably only because the album came out in 1993. Tracks like 'The Sun,The Sea','Virtual World' and 'Butterfly' have elements of Blues and Jazz in them too, while the subtle swagger is most apparent in 'Star Sail','Slide Away' and 'Blue'. The best moments though are the blissed out ambience and psychedelia of 'Beautiful Mind' and 'Make It 'Til Monday'. If you're curious about hearing a non-commercial side to Richard Ashcroft or The Verve or indeed just want to hear a fine 1990s psychedelia album then this one is worth checking out.
This is the Verve at their best. It is the closest you can get (along with the EPs) to resonating those beautiful early Verve performances where songs lasted 20 minutes and your head and heart were taken somewhere else. There will always be a part of me left in the rafters of Sheffield Octogan in 1992. Guitar sounds that chime like distant bells echoing in a dreamy valley(from the best guitarist of the 90's). Drum beats that shuffle beautifully. Bass lines that remain understatedly melodic. And then theres that Ashcroft fellow before he went too ladish (all that C'mon malarchy!!). These were the days when the man would shuffle bare foot on an indian rug looking like a student lost in the late 60's. This is a fantastic album. It doesnt need to be like Urban Hymns. It doesnt need that cockyness of Luck man. It is perfect as it is. Best listened to in a cave to add echo to echo or in a car watching the sun set over the beautiful Derbyshire wilderness. Dont judge it by what happened in the late 90's. Judge it by the innocence of those long 92/93 summers. Epic
Out of the many albums i have listened to spanning across heavy metal through seventies rock to modern dance music, the Verves a storm in heaven has got to be one of the best i have listened to.From the opening chord of star sail you know you are going to be launched into a musical fantasy dreamland for the next 45 minutes. Nick McCabes reverb soaked, delay ridden guitar work draws from some of the best psychedelia of the seventies and Richard Ashcrofts soft vocals are more than capable of putting you into a soft mood. I fully reccomend it to anyone who likes to listen to a good bit of clever guitar work and it is most definitely the Verves finest hour