The Verve – Urban Hymns

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Published on 30 June 2019 by

      The Verve – Urban Hymns is the third studio album by English alternative rock band The Verve, released on 29 September 1997 on Hut Records. It earned nearly unanimous critical praise upon its release, and went on to become the band’s best-selling release and one of the biggest selling albums of the year. It is currently ranked the 17th best-selling album in UK chart history and has sold over ten million copies worldwide

      Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘Not long after the release of A Northern Soul, the Verve imploded due to friction between vocalist Richard Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe. It looked like the band had ended before reaching its full potential, which is part of the reason why their third album, The Verve – Urban Hymns — recorded after the pair patched things up in late 1996 — is so remarkable. Much of the record consists of songs Ashcroft had intended for a solo project or a new group, yet Urban Hymns unmistakably sounds like the work of a full band, with its sweeping, grandiose soundscapes and sense of purpose. the Verve have toned down their trancy, psychedelic excursions, yet haven’t abandoned them — if anything, they sound more muscular than before, whether it’s the trippy “Catching the Butterfly” or the pounding “Come On.” These powerful, guitar-drenched rockers provide the context for Ashcroft’s affecting, string-laden ballads, which give Urban Hymns its hurt. The majestic “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and the heartbreaking, country-tinged “The Drugs Don’t Work” are an astonishing pair, two anthemic ballads that make the personal universal, thereby sounding like instant classics. They just are the tip of the iceberg — “Sonnet” is a lovely, surprisingly understated ballad, “The Rolling People” has a measured, electric power, and many others match their quality. Although it may run a bit too long for some tastes, it’s is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. The Verve – Urban Hymns is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait. ‘

 

The Verve – Urban Hymns Tracklist

  1. “Bitter Sweet Symphony” – 5:58
  2. “Sonnet” – 4:21
  3. “The Rolling People” (The Verve) – 7:01
  4. “The Drugs Don’t Work” – 5:05
  5. “Catching the Butterfly” (The Verve) – 6:26
  6. “Neon Wilderness” (Nick McCabe, The Verve) – 2:37
  7. “Space and Time” – 5:36
  8. “Weeping Willow” – 4:49
  9. “Lucky Man” – 4:53
  10. “One Day” – 5:03
  11. “This Time” – 3:50
  12. “Velvet Morning” – 4:57
  13. “Come On” (The Verve)

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