Album Review: Richard Ashcroft – Acoustic Hymns Vol 1.


Acoustic Hymns

The Lord of the Melody Richard Ashcroft releases ‘Acoustic Hymns Vol 1’, an acoustic collection that stands up as a re-worked greatest hits.

Acoustic Hymns is released 29th October Pre-Order here:

The new acoustic collection spans Ashcroft’s career in The Verve, solo and also with RPA & The United Nations of Sound. The tracklisting only just scratches the surface too, I guess that’s where more Volumes would be more than welcome.

The album kicks off in huge fashion with a 7 minutes long re-work of mega-hit ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, it doesn’t take long for the goosebumps to start forming on your skin and the hairs start to stand to attention.

The other big Verve hits come with ‘Sonnet’, ‘Lucky Man’ and the L.P ends with an emotional ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’. During ‘Sonnet’ it’s clear to hear that Ashcroft’s vocals are as strong as ever. ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ goes to a different level, taking everything you know about the tune and somehow making it even more heartbreaking and tear inducing.

Other Verve tunes that make the cut are more fan favourites in the shape of a ‘Weeping Willow’, ‘Velvet Morning’, ‘One Day’ and ‘Space and Time’. ‘One Day’ has never really been one of my go-to tunes but this version opens it up in a whole new way. ‘Space and Time’ on the other hand has always been one of my favourites this stripped back version with trumpets and gospel backing vocals even tops the ‘Urban Hymns’ version.

One of the biggest shocks sees Richard Ashcroft step back into the RPA & The United Nations of Sound with ‘This Thing Called Life’. Oddly Ashcroft seems to distance himself away from this 2010 project.

Of course, Ashcroft also delves into his solo catalogue with an intense version of debut solo single ‘A Song For The Lovers’, ‘Break The Night With Colour’ and an incredible duet with Liam Gallagher on ‘C’Mon People (We’re Making It Now)’.

‘C’Mon People (We’re Making It Now)’ will be the tune that most people will head to first just out of curiosity. Vocals on the tune are shared equally between the two legends and each other’s vocals compliment the others perfectly.

Richard Ashcroft has always wildly claimed that ‘Urban Hymns’ was his first solo album and Volume 1 is a good insight into how it would have turned out if it was his solo album. Hopefully, a Volume 2 and 3 will follow with tunes from ‘A Storm in Heaven’, ‘A Northern Soul’ and ‘Fourth’.

‘Acoustic Hymns’ is certainly a fan-pleasing album and it’s hard to pick any fault with the L.P. The quality of the tunes, the powerhouse and emotional vocals and the orchestral sections, it is for a sure a beautiful collection of songs.

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