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Urban Hymns

306 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 30, 1997
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$8.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock. Sold by cdgiveaways and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Urban Hymns + A Storm in Heaven + A Northern Soul
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Editorial Reviews

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Perhaps you weren't convinced of the Verve's staying power until recently. Before the release of Urban Hymns, skeptics wondered if they could ever match the explosive power of their earlier dedications. In 1995, most critics dismissed their offerings of the time as vapid, romantic excursions. To their credit, the Verve have sustained their shadow rock legitimacy while introducing string arrangements, piano fills, and slide guitar. Nowhere are these stirring traits more obvious than in the epic single "Bitter Sweet Symphony." Laying it on thick throughout the rest of the album with painfully engaging ballads, the Verve have crafted their most accomplished album to date, proving the longevity of their cultural resonance. --Lucas Hilbert


1. Bitter Sweet Symphony
2. Sonnet
3. The Rolling People
4. The Drugs Don't Work
5. Catching The Butterfly
6. Neon Wilderness
7. Space And Time
8. Weeping Willow
9. Lucky Man
10. One Day
11. This Time
12. Velvet Morning
13. Come On

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000000WF0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,774 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Gladis on January 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the 90's. It contains two megahits - Bitter Sweet Symphony and The Drugs Don't Work. The latter I consider to be one of the best love songs ever recorded. Few other songs also rate very high - Sonet, Lucky Man, Space and Time and Velvet Morning.
The album is very consistent with an excellent sound, brilliant lead vocal by Richard Ashcroft and gentle and often psychedelic guitar by Nick McCabe. Ashcroft, an author of most of the songs, is at its peak as a songwriter. His songs at Urban Hymns are better than on the two previous Verve albums. He can write the most passionate and tender lyrics and then deliver them in his original way.
The Verve only recorded three albums, each of them better than the previous one. Urban Hymns is the last one after which the band broke up. If you like Urban Hymns then I recommend to go back and listen to the previous one called A Northern Soul (the song History itself is worth the money). Ashcroft's solo album from 2000 - Alone With Everybody is a good work too.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By James Choma VINE VOICE on 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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
What else can you say? "Bittersweet Symphony"--an instant classic. "Sonnet"-a great ballad in the words of Noel Gallagher, and mine. "Rolling People"--rocks you throughout. "Drugs don't work"--I cry every time. "Catching the Butterfly"--a chilled out jam. "Neon Wilderness"--a nice come down. "Space and Time"--reminds me of Revolver-style song crafting. "Weeping willow"--melancholia at it's best. "Lucky man"--my personal anthem, along with everyone else in the UK. "This time"--sums up my feelings about life. "Velvet morning"--describes that feeling you get when you wake up after the long evening. "Come on"--Rock anthem for the ages. Totally solid album that has remained in my personal top 3 rotation since it debuted in 1997. My pick for album of the year in 97, and probably in my top 2 of the decade with the Pumpkin's "Siamese Dream" as the other album. Ashcroft knows how to write a good songs and McCabe knows how to take it to the higher level. I wish the guys much luck in their solo careers.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Neil on July 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The Verve have come a long way since the pondering lyrics and dreamlike acoustics of their debut album "A Storm In Heaven", and in doing so they created some stunning songs, i.e. "History" and "Stormy Clouds" from "A Northern Soul", their second album. But it here that we hear a band that has truly reached the peak of its powers, and in The Verve's case, these powers are awe inspiring. The album opens with "Bitter Sweet Symphony", an song that just has every emotion in it, showing singer and songwriter Richard Ashcrofts' disenchantment with life, the vicious cycle of it all, all over a beautiful orchestral rhythm, with a little help from Pete Salisbury's drums, well it all creates a swagger in your step from the knowing that someone else shares your misgivings with life in general. The album moves on the the acoustic "Sonnet", a busking classic, very easy-listening, taking you deep into Ashcrofts thoughts and memories. Then comes the rock 'n' roll high point of the album-"The Rolling People". Drenched in overdubs, full of classic lyrics such as "I'll be the first to toast, yeah, to my rotten soul", the rhythm section of Salisbury/Jones is at its very best here thrashing its way along with McCabes and Tongs guitars. Great rock 'n' roll, very similar to a lot of The Stone Roses "Second Coming". Following that is "The Drugs Don't Work", a song that really oozes emotion, he really means every lyric on that song, it is truly beautiful. Next is the simple "Catching The Butterfly", full of the moody guitars and effects that made "A Storm In Heaven" such a memorable record.Read more ›
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Recommendation for The Verve's 2nd greatest album?
A Northern Soul then work your way back...they're all great!!
Feb 1, 2014 by J. Regan |  See all 4 posts
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