CD Review: Forth (The Verve)

1) “Sit and Wonder” – A spacey opening leads to horns and electronic noise. Ashcroft’s vocals recall Thom Yorke’s earlier productions. Grade: 9.3

2) “Love Is Noise” Reminds me of Bloc Party except a bit more accessible. This track was definitely the most hyped of them all and for good reason. Grade: 8.9

3) “Rather Be” – Slower, more vocally dominating than the first songs, this song almost has an R&B feel to it. Grade: 8.84) “Judas” – Similar to “Rather Be,” but more encompassing in terms of vocal variety and technique. I guess you could classify this as “Brit Pop,” but that label doesn’t do any justice. Grade: 9.1

5) “Numbness” – A low tempo folk/mod track that reminds me a bit of Paul Weller. Grade: 9.0

6) “I See Houses” – A piano/electric combo that screams Radiohead. As the song progresses, a certain aura of psychedelia is felt. Grade: 9.0

7) “Noise Epic” – The title says it all. The background noise is epic. At about the 2:10 mark, the song really picks up and sounds like something out of the late 80s/early 90s alt-rock scene (think Pixies or Sonic Youth). Grade: 9.4

8) “Valium Skies” – One of the only slight fuck-ups this album offers. Casual fans might say this is one of the better songs off Forth, but it amounts to a modern U2 sound, which isn’t all that great. Grade: 7.3

9) “Columbo” – This ought to make the Stone Roses happy. The slappy bass and far-reaching vocals provide for a nice recovery after the average “Valium Skies.” Grade: 8.9

10) “Appalachian Springs” – Clearly not an amazing concluding track, it still holds up well. The chorus is kind of annoying while the verses aren’t. Grade: 8.6

Total Grade: 8.8 – Forth will go down as one of the best albums of 2008 and why not? With an abundance of great tracks, the Verve has reassured its status as one of the all-time great rock bands of the 90s and 00s.

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