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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 May 2017
very good
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on 15 November 2016
The fella is wonderful. His songs, singing and general rock star status. This is great music.
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on 28 March 2017
Exceeded expectations. Great seller. Extremely accommodating for US shipping. Thank you!!
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on 19 May 2003
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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on 13 November 2002
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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on 2 November 2002
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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on 1 November 2002
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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on 13 January 2003
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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on 27 October 2002
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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on 24 April 2003
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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