THE VERVE Forth (Parlophone/EMI) Rating: N
The first album of new material from the reunited Verve in 11 years shows the group struggling to regain their mojo without success. Instead of moving forward with a bold new sound, they seem lost and confused, eventually reverting to the sprawling space rock jams of their early years, which may be their comfort zone, but was the world really waiting for guitarist Nick McCabe to lead the group backwards through a shitstorm of shoegaze blather? Probably not.
Those hoping for Richard Ashcroft and crew to pick up where they left off with Urban Hymns are in for a huge letdown. Composing well-structured songs with meaningful verses and memorable choruses takes some creativity and ingenuity. Clearly, they weren't willing to invest much of either in Forth's epic wank- scapes, which come littered with bits of sampled noise in place of genuine experimentation.