The Verve - A Northern Soul - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Verve - A Northern Soul

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1995-07-01

The Verve's first album, A Storm In Heaven was a little too much like a wet weekend to really live up to its title, dallying in intangible psychedelia. Bolstered by Oasis producer Owen Morris, A Northern Soul delivered a lot more. The opening "A New Decade" was imbued with all the glorious bombast that its title suggested, and "This Is Music" sounded like some furious gospel, with shamanic lead singer Richard Ashcroft bellowing the title like he was administering to his flock. Inconsistencies marred A Northern Soul, however, with "Brainstorm Interlude" hardly even worthy of inclusion, and "Life's An Ocean" simply unrolling as an overlong jam. The album's clincher, surely, is the almighty "History". The Verve's greatest achievement, "History" is an epic, tearful elegy, and to date one of rock music's greatest moments. It alone proves that A Northern Soul is a failed masterpiece. By the next album, Urban Hymns, The Verve had learnt to dispense with the filler. --Louis Pattison

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