Article
Playing God With The Verve’s Urban Hymns

By: Nick Southall
2005-10-17



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Posted 10/17/2005 - 09:30:25 AM by James_McKean:
 CAn u send me a copy of the record, Nick?
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 09:34:56 AM by Woootooowoo:
 i'm not convinced that this new record is much better
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 09:36:00 AM by Woootooowoo:
 although at least it's not as long.
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 09:45:33 AM by James_McKean:
 Well I've heard few if any of the b sides so I cant really say.
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 09:55:28 AM by Woootooowoo:
 you like weeping willow, cos it sounds like you.
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 10:14:53 AM by Liarbythefire:
 The only drawback about Urban Hymns isn't what's on there -- it's just too long and somewhat disjointed. Putting B-sides on there I don't know would make it better. And I always find myself going back to the first four tracks (since I think they're absolutely perfect and not 'rubbish' or 'schlock') Here's what I would do (since I too grew up with this album): 1. Bittersweet Symphony 2. Sonnet 3. The Rolling People 4. The Drugs Don't Work 5. Catching The Butterfly 6. This Time 7. Space And Tim 8. Weeping Willow 9. Lucky Man 10. Come On
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 10:33:43 AM by knockturn:
 a) different shades of shit, and b) you can't polish a turd. did you see what I did there?
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 03:04:54 PM by J_R_K_:
 funny, i was just listening to the b-sides yesterday. echo bass is awesome and must be included, so kudods, same thing with three steps. however, i totally disagree with losing "space + time", that song is excellent. i do agree with ditching "drugs don't work". that song is lamer than the people knocking this record.
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 04:23:50 PM by :
 Ashcroft bleats “some days I’m fine / But I don’t think that’s right / Some days are OK / But only when I’m high” people who don't relate to that should feel lucky that they're not bipolar cuz it sure betrays a textbook case
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 05:55:31 PM by Humbaba:
 Honestly, if mawkishness and ego-wanking were banished from pop, everything would be a lot duller. No "Plastic Ono Band" or "Paid In Full," at the very least. Any way you cut it, "The Drugs Don't Work" is the fucking best song on the album after "Bittersweet Symphony," melodrama and all.
 
Posted 10/17/2005 - 10:48:44 PM by gloden:
 I just went an relistened to this album for the first time in a couple years and it's about as close to a perfect late-era brit pop album as anyone could hope to create. Those b-sides... they're OK, but I'd say that 99.9% of the time, b-sides are left off the album for a good reason.
 
Posted 10/18/2005 - 10:04:11 AM by J_R_K_:
 JessGraves- and anyone who watches "Donnie Darko" should feel glad they aren't schizo? Where do you get off? It's art, shut up.
 
Posted 10/18/2005 - 07:03:07 PM by srkenney:
 I love Urban Hymns, but as a stand alone only, not taken in context. Did anyone else abandon ship afterwards? I wanted the same psychedelic follow-up to a Northern Soul as I think you did, but I gave up on Verve, and tried out Mansun instead. At least they let me down slowly, with a progression of crappier albums, rather than Ashcroft's solo tripe. Actually, since I'm the only person I know who listen(ed) to Mansun, I'm not sure of their general reception. I imagine that their fans are about as psychotic as Muse fans - fair to say?
 
Posted 10/19/2005 - 04:31:59 AM by NickSouthall:
 Mansun were my best friend at university's favourite band, and while he loved them to bits he wasn't a typical rabid Mansun fan - from what I know of them, they were indeed as nuts as Muse and, back in the day, Manics fans ever have been. I wrote about Mansun here a while ago - http://www.stylusmagazine.com/feature.php?ID=1651
 
Posted 10/19/2005 - 09:01:00 AM by srkenney:
 NickSouthall - NICE article, I must have missed it when it ran originally. That album was one of the only times an HMV staff member has recommended something useful to me, and I'll always remember it with that asterik. Between Urban Hymns, Attack of the Grey Lantern, and the Charlatans album I was buying that day, I think I'm going to have a very "I'm 17 again" day.
 
Posted 10/20/2005 - 02:58:46 PM by MindInRewind:
 Interesting take ... I agree that the 2nd half of the album proper is bogged down by Ashcroft's fledgling solo work, and *every* Verve album could benefit from having fewer ballads, but you've sliced away all the best ones! Every Verve track ever can be dismissed as "ego wank" -- I thought that's what people liked about the band? (I'm somewhat serious). "Drugs Don't Work" needs to be on there. "Velvet Morning" is the song where the band finally joins Ashcroft and wakes me up before "Come On" fries me, so we need it too. Rescuing "Country Song" from b-side hell is a good choice, but keeping the similarly meandering "Rolling People" and "Catching the Butterfly" is just unneccessary bloating (particularly due to the exclusion of the vastly superior "Space and Time".
 
Posted 10/20/2005 - 03:07:48 PM by :
 um...I'm bipolar, and I like that song.
 
Posted 10/21/2005 - 03:13:34 PM by J_R_K_:
 I dated a schizo who liked donnie darko.
 
Posted 10/21/2005 - 04:00:17 PM by :
 ok. I think you have a point but I don't know what it is. My point before was that I relate to his sentiment there, clinically.
 
Posted 10/24/2005 - 12:06:21 AM by antimatter:
 Radio One wouldn't use any more compression than any station actually.
 
Posted 10/24/2005 - 04:31:07 AM by NickSouthall:
 Radio 1 might not compress things anymore than some commercial stations, but it certainly does use considerably more dynamic range compression (in order to get a punchier, louder, more exciting sound) than the likes of Radio 3. This page goes someway towards explaining it - http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/audio_processing.htm