The Verve – Forth (2008)

So The Verve released Forth on August 26, and I’ve listened to it a few times now. I was pretty psyched about this album, and I think it delivered. It’s not mind-blowing, and it meanders a bit sometimes, but when it’s good it’s glorious.

ForthThings start off swimmingly with “Sit And Wonder.” I adore this song. It’s the sort of song you get lost in – there’s tons of reverb on the guitars and Richard Ashcroft’s vocals, making for an epic, atmospheric sound. Love love love the chorus. If you only download one song from Forth, make it “Sit And Wonder.”

What can I say about “Love Is Noise”? It’s one of my favorite songs of the summer (along with Rihanna’s “Disturbia”) and it’s just plain great. Strangely enough, its ultra-catchy pop-ness sounds kind of out of place on Forth‘s collection of spaced-out jams and rockers. “Rather Be” comes next and the chord progression or whatever calls to mind Richard Ashcroft’s solo singles “Break The Night With Colour” and “Check The Meaning”. I love the sentiment of the song – “I’d rather be here than anywhere, is there anywhere better than here?” Ashcroft sings, probably of a relationship. Cool beans.

“Judas” is next and has a tripped-out feel. The guitars are nice and Richard Ashcroft’s voice is expressive and somewhat relaxing, actually, but this song marks the beginning of some serious meandering. And by “meandering” I mean that the song lasts for what feels like forever and doesn’t seem to go anywhere. The next song is the best example of this. I’ll come right out and say that I don’t like “Numbness” at all. Not one bit. It’s just not good. And it goes on for six and a half minutes. If you’re into shoegaze style music, then you might like “Numbness.” Otherwise, you’ll probably fall asleep halfway into it.

I’m reminded of “I Get My Beat” (a solo Richard Ashcroft number) when I listen to “I See Houses”, and though I do like “I See Houses,” I like “I Get My Beat” a lot more. “I See Houses” brings us out of the doldrums of “Numbness” but it’s “Noise Epic” that blasts away any lingering memories of that mess. It’s a little over 8 minutes long but it never feels that way. Awesome guitar work, cool vocals, and bangin’ drums make for a song that really lives up to its name.

bandisherelove“Valium Skies” is a really pretty little song (the shortest on the album) that isn’t quite memorable, but every time I listen to it I really love it. “Columbo,” I have to be honest, didn’t really make any impression on me. It’s another shoegaze style bit of meandering. All is forgiven, though, with “Appalachian Springs.” The album started off strong and ends strong with an equally epic tune. It’s another atmospheric song that sounds excellent in headphones, where you can pick out all the little lovely guitar flourishes. If only more albums ended like this!

Go check out Forth on iTunes! :)

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The Verve – Love Is Noise

Wooo! The Verve are back with “Love Is Noise” (which you can hear on their MySpace), the first single from their forthcoming album. It’s great stuff. It’s quite a bit different from their past output – it leans closer to pop/rock than shoegaze, and I think it’s fab!

Sorry for this rather short and silly post – but I’m loving this song so much, I just had to share! :)

Albums I’m excited about!

There are a few albums that will be released over the summer and into the fall that I’m excited about. Here are my thoughts:

  • NiyazNine Heavens (June 24 2008) / Azam Ali, Loga Ramin Torkian, and Carmen Rizzo (Niyaz) are releasing their second album, Nine Heavens, on June 24. I’m a big fan of their self-titled debut – a mesmerizing blend of Persian folk and electronic music – and I can’t wait to hear the great new tunes they’ve come up with. What makes Nine Heavens ultra-nifty is that it comes with a disc of the songs played acoustically. You can download one of the tracks here (I haven’t, because I want to wait to hear the album in its entirety!)!
  • The Verve – TBA (August 2008?) / Richard Ashcroft and friends are back together and I for one am looking forward to hearing what they’ve come up with. First single “Love Is Noise” is going to be played on the BBC’s Radio One – you can listen to it live here – on June 23. Exciting stuff!
  • Mylène Farmer – TBA (Fall 2008) /The first single from the as-yet-untitled album, “Dégénération,” has been released to French radio stations and is floating around online (here it is, if you haven’t heard it yet!). “Dégénération” isn’t my fave Mylene song, and it probably never will be, but it certainly is a cool sounding song. Can’t wait to hear the whole album!
  • Dido – TBA (September 2008?) / Dido’s new album has been in the works forever, it seems, but I’m betting that it’ll be worth the wait. Her first two albums, No Angel and Life For Rent, are excellent pieces of downtempo pop and it’ll be interesting to hear how her music has progressed in the years since.

I’m sure other new albums will come about that I’ll love, but these are the ones I’m marking my calendar for! :)

Long time, no post!!

Whoa! I haven’t posted in forever! To try and make up for my blogging negligence, here are a few albums and such that you might like. :)

  • The Verve have reunited and are currently on tour – so why not refresh your memory of their great tunes with This Is Music: The Singles 92-98? I would describe their style as a sort of combo of psychedelic, trip-hop, shoegaze, and good old fashioned rock and roll. Tracks to listen out for, aside from the classic ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony,’ are ‘This Is Music,’ ‘Sonnet,’ and ‘Gravity Grave.’
  • The guys behind Delerium teamed up with Leigh Nash (formerly of Sixpence None The Richer) as Fauxliage for this lovely set of songs. Nash’s distinctive, airy vocals complement the atmospheric, smooth production of these chilled tracks. If you like Delerium or Conjure One, you’ll love Fauxliage!
  • A ‘classical crossover’ album in the vein of Sarah Brightman’s more recent work, The Myth of Red features ambient, downtempo songs with lovely soprano vocals by Sasha Lazard. A great chill-out album! And speaking of Delerium – their remix of ‘Awakening’ is fab!
  • Crystal Waters had some fabulous house smashes in the ’90s – revisit them with her ’98 best-of, The Best of Crystal Waters! ‘100% Pure Love’ and ‘Say…If You Feel Alright’ are part of my soundtrack of the ’90s!
  • Azam Ali is a very talented singer/musician who has been recording for over a decade – as one-half of Vas, one-third of Niyaz, and as a solo artist. She has also been heard on movie and TV scores such as 300 and Alias. Her Elysium Remixes EPs feature remixes of songs from her 2006 release Elysium For The Brave, an album that mixes world music with electronica to great effect.

Hopefully I’ll get better about posting more consistently!! :)