Monday, December 12, 2011

Richard Ashcroft and The United Nations of Sound

Richard Ashcroft's latest solo effort is a bit late arriving on these shores but as per usual it's well worth the wait. Ashcroft, who made himself a rock and roll legend as Mad Richard in the Verve has had an equally stellar solo career and judging by the thirteen songs here, there simply is no slowing down the mad one.

Perhaps a bit more sweeping, soulful, and emotional than anything he's done since the Verve, Richard Ashcroft and the United Nations of Sound is a fantastic record that embraces northern soul, pure pop, and of course those late Verve records. The songs are ridiculously catchy, introspective, hopeful, and so sweeping that it comes with a push broom. With horns, choirs, strings and just about everything else including his sunglasses, Mad Richard rocks out with a record that wouldn't sound too out of place next to a Spencer Davis Group record (if they were still recording today).

Richard Ashcroft and the United Nations of Sound is modern but in love with classic pop sounds from the past. It's a big powerful record that reaches skywards and takes off. This has stadium anthem written all over it and is the sort of record that gives you Goosebumps at the greatness of music. Positive, groovy, and filled with rays of sunshine, Richard Ashcroft has put together yet another memorable album in a career littered with them. Twenty years or so into his career the Mad One still has it and it's all over Richard Ashcroft and the United Nations of Sound. Essential stuff.

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