TUESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2008 |
I suppose there are those who will tell you that the Verve are as important as any band to bust out of Britain in the mid nineties - though I can only suppose as I have personally never met such a person. But they're out there, and again - I can only suppose here - are most likely excited about Forth; the first album from Richard Ashcroft and co. in eleven years. But if the band had any desire to pick up new converts, or impress those who know them only as the band that ripped off the Stones (effectively making their biggest single a massive wash) they may want to consider casting a penny into the nearest fountain they can find. Their wish? One that will allow them to give their comeback album another go. Because this baby is a bit of a bore...one that actually makes Coldplay's latest like a walk on the wild side.
The wash of humid production that coats almost every ounce of this album in a thick hazy sweat was probably intended to give the tracks a certain supersonic quality. The Verve no doubt fancy themselves one of the big boys and the material on Forth is certainly meant to be heard rolling out of festival sized speakers. But drawn out over the course of an hour on my headphones, the ten mostly mid tempo songs offered here eventually run lukewarm over time. Still, its necessary to pick favorites, and for me its got to be lead single "Love is Noise". It is a song with an honest to god pulse; one that pumps straight ahead drum work, a smooth and buoyant bass line, somewhat animalistic back up nuances, and lyrics that pose questions that are bigger than the band (Sample Lyric: "Will our feet in modern times walk on soles that are made in China?") through its veins. Other nice moments include Simon Jones' drunk plunk on an upright bass in "Columbo", and the heady, almost psychedelic sway power guitarist Nick McCabe brings to the table on "Noise Effort".
Of course a few choice moments do not make a great album, though the way Forth was packaged is certainly worth noting. Teaming up with Motorola, The Verve serviced this sucker to press on a pristine, Motorokr cell phone...a slick piece of technology indeed. With six gigs of space, the phone is an awfully sweet accessory for any music fan. But, if you're like me, that kind of space fills up quickly. Sadly, I'm just not sure Forth is an interesting enough listen to avoid being dumped for something thats ultimately a little more adventurous. Say, where is that Viva La Vida record? - David Pitz