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on 23 July 2010
I too was really looking forward to the new album after being at the Sheperds Bush gig a few weeks ago. I read some real bad reviews last week, including one from NME.

Its actually a great album, very different from anything I've heard before. Refreshng considering the dross that is pumped out these days which we are told is "great music".

These journalists seem to have a personal vendetta against Ashcroft, possibly they feel he's too big for his boots.

If you like his previous solo material, dont have any doubts about buying this album, its a winner!
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on 24 August 2016
Its not a bad effort this album.

If you are expecting an album like his first Alone with everybody or Urban Hymns, you will feel let down.
However it is Richard Ashcroft working with studio musicians not an album of songs all just by him.

It is probably his most positive and uplifting songs I have ever seen from him.
Give it time and a proper listen you might get a positive surprise from this album.

Its not a Verve album no...certainly not, but its not far off from the level that band achieved either.
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on 19 July 2010
I was shocked to read in many music magazines that this album had been criticised harshly! I couldn't disagree more - this album is consistently strong and includes absolutely great songs such as Are You Ready, Born Again and She Brings Me The Music - in my opinion Richard Ashcroft has done extremely well. Personally - it just misses the peak of The Verve in terms of quality.
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on 25 July 2010
9.30 in the morning and this album was blasting out in a nearly deserted high street music store, I had no idea who had created this music but in the space of three tracks I was hooked. The backdrop to these songs is Phil Spector big and the vocalist streches himself to the very limits of his capabilities, honey dripped to growling rasp. Sure you can pick out the places where the inspiration for the styling of these tracks came, but the guy never seems to borrow from a legend and come away looking anything but credible. I have the feeling this album is going to be played on a loop in my home, car, workplace for many months. For me the album of summer 2010.
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on 25 July 2010
After his last, fairly weak, in my opinion, solo album, and a verve album that was just OK, I was not expecting anything great here. How wrong I was, Ascroft gives it 100% here, and then some, with great support form quality musicians and production. It's a very strong and uplifting sound, especially on the first 2 powerful tracks, but there is not a duff track on here. One of the best albums I've heard for a long time. Can we have more artists like this please?
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on 24 July 2010
Richard ashcroft just keeps putting out quality album after Quality album , and once again he has done himself proud , To be able to carry the burden of the Verve reputation hanging over him to then produce a brilliant album like this with quality songs from Are You Ready , Born Again , Americaright through to She Brings Me The Music , Glory,and Let My Soul Rest, The man is a undervalued genius , get the album ... Listen to it , Love it ...
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on 28 June 2012
Ok I'm biased as a long time Verve fan and then Richard Ashcroft's solo stuff. This is another quality addition to his musical works...and to anyone's CD collection. Hard to pick a favourite track, but 'Are you ready' is stunning. Buy!
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on 10 February 2011
Whilst much of the press has given this record a panning there are many good points and subtle references within the music to show it is not fully deserved.

Are You Ready? comes on like Rocky running out for training at the break of dawn. It is full of potential energy waiting to burst free, possibly the catalyst behind the promo clip. When the wah wah kicks in after 4 mins 20 seconds all the energy is released in a massive wig out. But there is more depth to the record than the opening bluster.

It is America's refrain of "Spend Spend Spend" that gives the game away with its echos of Bowie's Fame, the tune written with John Lennon and other crack session musicians of 70's Philadelphia. Here, it is another crack set that help Ashcroft do his gospel as he plays the pastor in this evangelist church that praises the high heavens. The calls of self indulgence are misplaced. Why would someone as singular in his vision as Ashcroft go at this record half cocked? It would make no sense.

There is familiar territory, such as when Ashcroft sings with sugary emotion over a string laden backdrop. Only the guitar kicking in stops the sick bucket being filled. It's nice, if you like that sort of thing, and you'll hear it on She Brings Me The Music.

But the new ground is walked with the swagger expected from the man. It is the same swagger that will put people off buying this record as the expectation of his head disappearing up his behind is in the air. This can quickly be dispelled though. Richard Ashcroft is an emotional singer, he feels what he is singing and playing, its this passion that shines through all his work. Even the overlong Human Conditions, his second solo record, was an honest and genuine effort and here this is exactly the sound he wants.

About three quarters of the way through the album starts to reflect some of the more meandering moments of The Verve's catalogue with jams and grooves but this time with beat poet vocals. Album closer Let My Soul Rest is more like Ashcroft's previous work and that may be explained by the production of Chris Potter, who has worked extensively with Ashcroft in the past. These later songs relax the mood as the record fades out.

RPA and the United Nations of Sound cover a lot of ground in these 14 tracks and it keeps the interest of the listener. In all areas the quality is high, the pace of the record is spot on and and it should be lauded as a great step by Ashcroft, but I fear this record may not be listened to with an open mind, or open ears.
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No music has blown off the cobwebs from this early 21st century genius void like Richard Ashcroft's.

The creativity, soul and poetry shines through. This CD is a shower in the waterfall of ecstacy.

PS My band, The RFIN (Rocket Fueled Imagination Nation)had the Nation thing going a few years before, but hey RPA is still a top man.

Love & Positivity
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on 7 February 2014
As a fan of the verve and Ashcroft's solo work, I thought I'd pick this up on the cheap, and I wasn't disappointed to say the least.
The overall feel of the album is that of the Verve's album 'Forth', being fairly different from the classic tracks from the late 90's early 00's, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. The majority of the album is solid, with some really catchy songs such as 'Royal Highness' and 'Born Again'. Though there are some hit/miss songs that some will love some will not (Glory, Let my soul rest). I personally found most of them to be perfectly fine, though among friends opinion was divided.
All in all, If you like the verve, then this album shouldn't disappoint, If you don't like the verve, why not give it a try, It's different enough that you just might like it.
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