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The Verve - Forth - Red

On The Verve's new album – Forth – the British band resurrects itself after a decade of relative inactivity. It's their first full-length album of new material since 1997. The new album's rangy tunes sound like a mixture of the early 90's Verve mixed with a modern sensibility, and it's a rather strong comeback overall.

Frontman Richard Ashcroft sings great throughout, especially on the lead single "Love is Noise". He sounds like he's really reaching for a different feel on Forth. His potential is especially tapped on the beautiful "Judas", and on the disc's most intriguing track "I See Houses", where Ashcroft considers his day-to-day life ala Village Green-era Ray Davies. Two of the longest tracks (note – only one of the album's ten songs are under five minutes...) are the very rockin' "Noise Epic" and the more inspired, seven-and-a-half minute long "Columbo". The album's lead cut – "Sit and Wonder" – is vintage Ashcroft crooning.

Also a showcase for The Verve's often overlooked guitarist Nick McCabe, Forth is a very cool listen that harkens back to the days when music listening was done an album side at a time rather than one track at a time. Let's hope enough people get a chance to listen to this new music in its natural habitat.

Written by Dan Reed

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