Richard Ashcroft is the essence of Brit Cool. Like Syd Barrett or Nick Drake before him, Pete Doherty and Alex Turner after him, Ashcroft is one of those rarified rock eccentrics; the type of visionary spirit that s one of England s greatest musical exports. As the frontman of The Verve, Ashcroft was the signature voice of 1990s English pop music. The band s global megahit Bittersweet Symphony - which Chris Martin famously called the best song ever written, sung by the best singer in the world - made them stars in the States and heroes at home. He s played Saturday Night Live, graced the cover of Rolling Stone, been nominated for VMAs, GRAMMYs, and The Mercury Prize, but he s never made a soul record with a hotshot hip-hop producer and venerated Motown greats, until now. In 2009, Ashcroft disbanded The Verve and focused on writing songs inspired by his love of soul, funk and gospel. The result is his first solo album in four years, United Nations Of Sound.
Mr. Ashcroft has a big, round, craggy voice. It s put to good use on Are You Ready?, the moody, confrontational single from his new solo record, United Nations of Sound. --New York Times 3/18/2011
This ambitious, optimistic opus contains arena-ready rock anthems filled with swelling strings, blistering guitar solos and catchy choruses. --The Boston Herald 3/18/2011
Flourishes with a pumping hip-hop beat and swelling strings --Spin March 2011