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The Verve - Urban Hymns

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Urban Hymns

The Verve

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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, 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, Urban Hymns is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. It is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Urban Hymns

The Verve

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1
Bitter Sweet Symphony
00:05:57

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - KEITH RICHARDS, ComposerLyricist - MICK JAGGER, ComposerLyricist - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Wil Malone, String Arranger, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

2
Sonnet
00:04:21

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

3
The Rolling People
00:07:02

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

4
The Drugs Don't Work
00:05:03

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

5
Catching The Butterfly
00:06:27

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Simon Tong, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

6
Neon Wilderness
00:02:37

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

7
Space And Time
00:05:37

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

8
Weeping Willow
00:04:50

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

9
Lucky Man
00:04:53

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

10
One Day
00:05:02

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

11
This Time
00:03:50

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

12
Velvet Morning
00:04:58

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

13
Come On / Deep Freeze Hidden Track
00:15:14

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

DISC 2

1
This Is Music Live
00:04:00

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

2
Space And Time Live
00:06:00

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

3
Catching The Butterfly Live
00:06:29

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

4
Sonnet Live
00:04:34

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

5
The Rolling People Live
00:06:05

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

6
Weeping Willow Live
00:04:38

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

7
The Drugs Don't Work Live
00:06:00

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

8
Lucky Man Live
00:05:30

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

9
Life's An Ocean Live
00:06:49

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

10
Velvet Morning Live
00:06:01

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

11
Bitter Sweet Symphony Live
00:10:10

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - KEITH RICHARDS, ComposerLyricist - MICK JAGGER, ComposerLyricist - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd.

12
A New Decade Live
00:03:44

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd

13
History Live
00:04:54

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd

14
Slide Away Live
00:04:09

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Potter, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Verve, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Virgin Records Ltd

Album Description

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, 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, Urban Hymns is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. It is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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