Tuesday, June 6, 2000

The Sun reviews 'Alone With Everybody'

Prepare to smile, if not laugh out loud, at this review from the UK's biggest tabloid:

RICHARD ASHCROFT'S Alone With Everybody is one of the year's most eagerly awaited albums - and it doesn't disappoint.

The former Verve frontman has put together an album which will be the soundtrack of summer 2000. Here's my track-by-track verdict on the CD, out on June 26.

A SONG FOR THE LOVERS: Picking up where the Verve's Urban Hymns left off, this has majestic strings and a hypnotic rhythm. Not the strongest track but a fine curtain-raiser. 8 out of 10

I GET MY BEAT: What a beauty, I don't know how he does it. An ode to wife Kate, it's a stunning, romantic song: "I get my beat with you when we see things through and I think about you all the time." It sounds so simple with a stunning, soaring orchestral arrangement. Goosebumps are inevitable. This MUST be a single. 10

BRAVE NEW WORLD: Moody with Verve-style slide guitar. Wouldn't be out of place on an album by his previous employers. A real anthem with hypnotic guitar and drums which make it irresistible. Can't wait to hear it live. 9

NEW YORK: Suddenly the album explodes. A rockier, more aggressive feel which leaves you a bit dizzy. Reminiscent of Come On, a dark chugging beat climaxes with Mad Richard screaming: "Are you tuning in, are you tuning in?" 8

YOU ON MY MIND (IN MY SLEEP): Another addictive love song - forget Luther Vandross, this is romance. If you're at home late at night with a member of the opposite sex, stick this on and you'll end up in bed, I guarantee it. It's slightly folky - and features Mrs Ashcroft on piano. 9

CRAZY WORLD: A faster and more "up" excursion into the mind of Ashcroft. He's singing about trying to understand life (as ever), which is chewing on his brain "like a desert-trained locust." It carries a positive message though, with lines like: "You've got that spirit so please stick with it. The world wouldn't be a world without you." 8

ON A BEACH: I never thought he'd write a song with a title like this, but he can afford holidays now. Reminds me of Lucky Man, but he's obviously much happier outside the group. That's what's so good about this album - the way he takes the best of the Verve and adds to it. 8

MONEY TO BURN: The second single - with bluesy harmonica, trumpets and a gospel choir. A bit like The Soup Dragons' I'm Free if you can remember that. Not bad but better's to come. 7

SLOW WAS MY HEART: A very delicate mellow track which shows off the production skills of Verve knob-twiddler Chris Potter. It's intelligent and you can hear Ashcroft growing in front of your ears. The album is dedicated to his wife and new baby boy Sonny and you can hear why. 8

C'MON PEOPLE (WE'RE MAKING IT NOW): A real stonker, Richard telling the world he's free from the shackles of his old band. "I'm alive, I wanna grow." Think of The New Radicals' You Get What You Give with balls and you won't be far off. Has No1 written all over it. 9

EVERYBODY: A more introspective ending to one of the records of the year, reflecting on the death of his father. It's another epic and a wonderful climax to a stunning collection, which proves he really is standing on the shoulder of giants. Not hearing this album could seriously damage your health. Buy it and improve your summer. 8