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Urban Hymns 1

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

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Calling it a day in early 1999 was probably the best thing the Verve ever did, as it meant that they quit when they were at the pinnacle of their success, sparing their faithful followers an unsightly degeneration. Urban Hymns is a fitting final testament to Wigan's favourite sons, as Richard Ashcroft and Nick McCabe temporarily buried the hatchet and reformed one of Britain's greatest songwriting partnerships since Lennon and McCartney. From the unmistakable introductory chords of "Bittersweet Symphony" to the sheer pop perfection of "Lucky Man" via stoner rock-outs like "Weeping Willow" and the call to arms that is "Come On", every track justifies its presence by being part of a cohesive whole. Their previous album A Northern Soul was already marked down in the annals of rock history as a classic; Urban Hymns surpasses it and then some. --Helen Marquis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jon G
Format:LP Record|Verified Purchase
I've always loved this album on CD but it was pretty worn so I added it to my vinyl collection. I love the sound of it on vinyl and really appreciate the quality of the 180 gram vinyl.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For Coldplay music fans April 9 2012
Format:Audio CD
Although The Verve predates Coldplay, it may not be familiar material for Indie Rockers. Richard Ashcroft actually opened for Coldplay a few years ago which brought many classics like "Lucky Man", "The Sonnet", and "Bitter Sweet Symphoney" back into the mainstream. The album is full of soulful tunes. Some are more up tempo then others, but if you are looking for more Oasis or Coldplay this will satisfy your craving.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Band Nov. 8 2010
By Claudia
Format:Audio CD
Love this band, can't get enough of them........

Claudia
Lasalle, Quebec
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4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Oct. 23 2009
Format:Audio CD
Have heard the tracks before, though I have not received the ordered item yet... They are pretty one of the biggest breakthroughs!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best in my collection. July 10 2004
Format:Audio CD
I got this CD two weeks ago, and it hasn't come out of CD player since. After I first heard Bitter Sweet Symphony, I knew I had to get it... that song is great on so many levels.
1. Bitter Sweet Symphony (10/10)- The violin music in the beginning sets the tone for the entire piece, and I love it. This has no competition- it's my favorite song.
2. Sonnet (9/10) I think I might be a little prejudiced with this song, because you can see what comes before it... it's a sweet song, but it doesn't really compare...
3. The Rolling People (10/10) I love this song, as well. It shows a different side of The Verve, and it's great, too. This one isn't slow... good contrast.
4. The Drugs Don't Work (9/10)- Very soulful.
5. Catching the Butterfly (10/10) 'I'm gonna keep catching that butterfly in that dream of mine...' great melody, and I love the lyrics...
6. Neon Wilderness (7/10) This song sounds like it wasn't finished... my least favorite. I usually skip through this one.
7. Space and Time (10/10) I love the 'I just can't make it alone' part of this song... makes my want to sing... or perhaps jump up and dance. Either one.
8. Weeping Willow (10/10) You never hear the lyrics 'weeping willow' in this song until the very end, but when you do, they really mean something. Not quite sure WHAT, but something...
9. Lucky Man (10/10)- I love this one, as well.
10. One Day (10/10) The lyrics and the song are both so sweet in this song...
11. This Time (8/10)- I like this one, but not quite as much as the others.
12. Velvet Morning (10/10) I love when the music changes from soft and slow to loud and a bit wilder... It's like, 'dumdumdumdumdum- ANOTHER VELVET MORNING FOR ME.' Kinda takes you by surprise. :)
13. Come On (10/10)- Perfect ending...
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Will Stand the Test of Time June 18 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is one of those timeless albums that you can listen to now (six years after its initial release) and still enjoy it. Each of the songs still sound as fresh as today as they did back in 1997. With this album, the Verve hit a homerun.
I remember I was browsing through a CD store when I first heard "Bittersweet Symphony." It immediately caught my attention, and I stood rooted on the spot just listening. Very few times has an album jolted me like that, but this was one of those times. I asked the clerk who this was and he said that it was from the new album by The Verve. After "Bittersweet" was over, he told me to hold on and listen to "Lucky Man." It was after that I was sold -- I had to buy the album.
On this album, you get 13 little masterpieces -- there's not a filler track in the bunch. Besides the excellent songwriting, the production is outstanding. I haven't heard such a good mix of strings since Tony Visconti's work with T. Rex -- just listen to "Lucky Man," "Bittersweet Symphony," or "Sonnet" for proof.
The only downside is that the group broke up after this -- their finest moment! Of all the dumb luck. While Richard Ashcroft has gone on to do a couple of solo albums, they don't seem to capitalize on what The Verve had done on this album. Yes, he's the voice, the did much of the writing, but as the old saying goes: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Best album of the 1990's? This one, no question about it. After the Britney's, the Justin's, and all the other drivel from that era fades, this will be one of the albums people look back upon fondly. Rating: A+
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless May 27 2004
Format:Audio CD
Too bad Verve are no longer together. At least they were able to release something as monumental as "Urban Hymns" before they disbanded. Packed here is a collection of rockers and ballads that transcend the Rock/Indie genre. "Bittersweet Symphony" is pure brilliance and one of the most recognizable songs of all-time. "The Rolling People" and "Catching the Butterfly" are trippy, instrument driven mid-tempo rockers with simple but effective lyrics. The trio of "Space and Time", "Weeping Willow", and ubërballad "Lucky Man" round out a solid middle, and "Come On" is a rousing end to a great album. "Urban Hymns" is one of the 90's essentials, and Richard Ashcroft greatest musical collaboration. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful May 1 2004
By Galen
Format:Audio CD
Like most people, I fell in love with The Verve after hearing "Bittersweet Symphony". I heard it on Cruel Intentions, and then bought the soundtrack. I'd never heard anything like it before, because it was so beautiful and powerful and dreamlike all at the same time. Slowly, I had heard other songs from them, and I was thinking "This is a REALLY good band!" And then, for Christmas, I got this album.
This has to be one of the best albums ever made. The songs are beautiful, every single one of them. I don't get bored or irritated with any of them.
They band has a unique sound. It's comforting, beautiful, psychedelic, blurry.. it takes complete grasp of your senses and takes it somewhere wonderful.
I reccomend it to anyone who's heard something by them before. They may end up being an aquired taste, but they're one hell of an aquired taste!
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