A Northern Soul is the second studio album by English alternative rock band The Verve. The album was released in the United Kingdom on 20 June 1995 on the Hut label and in the United States on 3 July 1995 on Vernon Yard Records. The title is a reference to Northern Soul, a popular soul movement in Britain during the 1970s. A Northern Soul was a moderate success upon release, charting at number 13 in the UK, and has since received critical acclaim, as well as being ranked high in readers polls in popular music publications. This is the final album to feature the band's original line-up until 2008's Forth. In 2013, NME ranked it at number 390 in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.Wikipedia
A bit dull all the songs kind of blended together into a boring miasma
Before listening I didn't really know The Verve for anything other than Bitter Sweet Symphony, and after listening I can see why. I'm definitely not a fan, and will not be listening to this album again. Nothing really stands out about this album, it just feels a bit empty.
Watching Paint Dry, the soundtrack. I’d almost respect it, if the Verve had intended to make me feel like my brain folds were being smoothed from boredom. I’m still not entirely convinced they didn’t just put a saltine cracker on a record player and let the needle drop.
Possibly their finest moment.
Awesome neo-psychedelic album, definitely inspired some Radiohead vibes.
Never realized how in-the-same toy box The Verve and Radiohead were at this time
Not a fan. Can't quite put my finger on it but the singing seems off trying to be melodic(inside a tunnel- some kind of distracting echo) over weird screeching guitars. Like the the band each recorded something on their own and then they mashed together whatever they came up with. No harmony in the music and just seems disconnected to the singing.
I'm mostly only familiar with The Verve because of bittersweet symphony, a song that I really love. I'm sure I've listened to the album that song was on before but I haven't listened to their other music much. It's right up my ally.
Ahh here we go ladies. Finally some music with more prowess than my hand. Superb all the way through
It was really good. TIL I like the Verve.
I don’t understand why the verve were not more popular in the 90s
Not as polished as Urban Hymns, but a solid album nonetheless. Not really in the best place while listening, but it seemed to compliment where I was well.
well, i am definitely a sucker for dreamy guitars, as i believe i've mentioned in other reviews. this album delivers those in heaps, which i super appreciate. closing track is easily my favorite, though i found i liked a surprising number of others on this album. i of course only knew of them through their massive late-90s hit, which i did actually love, but please don't tell anyone that. i ended up feeling like this album gave me permission to love that track, and probably a lot more by them. i think the real takeaway here is that i'm a fan of northern england in general. that seems to be a running theme.
Ok, this was pretty rocking - did not fit my preconception of what The Verve sounded like. It pairs pretty well with Spiritualized's "Ladies & Gentlemen..." which came up on here recently, for being a bit droney wall-of-sound-style rock. Fave track - "A New Decade". I'm definitely up for more listens to pick out other faves though...
Surpreendente. Ouvir mais vezes
Love it, great music
Kind of visceral in a way. Honestly wasn't expecting this kind of album. But I mean, look at that album art, that dude is MAD FIERCE.
Gotta say, this was a surprise for me. Everyone and their dad knows "Bittersweet Symphony," but this album seemed to be conscious and deeply rooted alt album that obviously hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. Really enjoyed it.
Spotify version is hella long. Good gloomy music, can feel the influence it had. Songs are differentiated well but still very similar across the album. Rainy day perfect.
Nice to listen to, maybe will return to
I liked the music pretty well, though I found some of the extra sounds on the tracks a little strange.
Good, not greatest
Dachte erst mein Laptop is im Eimer, aber der Song geht erst nach 20sek los. Ab dan 1a geiler BritPop. Habe außer Bitter Sweet Symphony noch nix von den dudes gehört, daher umso glücklicher, dass das Album dabei war. Habs glaub 3 mal gehört jetzt das Album und es wird nicht langweilig. Brainstorm Interlude nervt a weng aber sonst solid. Weil kein Mega Banger drauf war 4*
Really enjoyed the various styles throughout the album.
Door de nummers die ik al kende (zoals The drugs don’t work), verwachtte ik iets futloos. Gelukkig had ik het mis.
Positief verrast door deze plaat! Een stuk steviger dan het album wat hierna kwam, met al de bekende hits erop.
This bunch of pricks assaulted my nan. Kicked seven shades out of her and left her for dead. Luckily she survived, sought revenge and tracked them all down one by one...and then gave them all hand jobs. Slag.
Great album, would have listened to it before
The Verve are always great. Really like their sound and mix of styles
liked this album, loved a few songs, others weren't good
First half good, second half kinda depressing at times
A little disjointed, beat lyrics, neat melodies
looooove apparently shoegaze?
Oh more Bri-ish innit?
Lower end of a 4. Lacks the bangers of Urban Hymns and all a bit samey
This was pretty good. The Verve seem underrated, usually relegated to their one or two big hits. Solid piece of work.
these people are so talented I’m not crazy about some of these songs but for the most part it’s really cool - 8/10
It's very good. There's no doubt that Nick McCabe's guitar sounds so good on this.
Only knew Urban Hymns of the Verve but this is perhaps deeper and goes harder on the theme of someone from the underprivileged north taking on the world. 3.9
Don't really know much of The Verve other than Bittersweet Symphony, but I liked this quite a bit. Very psychedelic/Brit-pop sounding. Reminded me a bit of U2, a bit of Oasis, a bit of the Stones, and a few other things mixed in. 4 stars.
I’m a huge fan of urban hymns not sure why Iv never listened to this before, it’s also brilliant history the stand out song, but the rest of the album just not quiet the same level of urban hymns.
4/5. A bit overblown, and stuck in the 90s, but definitely one of the most impressive and gratifying Brit-pop albums
Good album in its day.
I like this album. It definitely feels like it was inspired by and inspired other 90s groups and albums, like U2 and Toad the Wet Sprocket.
I was very pleasantly surprised. This is an album I will listen to again and come back to.
A good listen, I like how they commit to a sound, the ballady contemplative aggression, sprawly guitar soundscapes. At times their vocals get pitchy in a distracting way, particularly some of the falsetto moments. But the albums seems to foreshadow the indie guitar stuff that would become so popular in the early 2000's. In fact, I just listened to an album today, from 2022 (Waiting to Spill by The Backseat Lovers), that I wondered whether it would exist without bands like The Verve helping define and popularize that sound.
Sometimes there is more to a one hit wonder then you think. This was good and reminded me a lot of Oasis in that it took 1960s sounds and modernized them for the 1990s (though less pop and more Pavement than Oasis). I enjoyed it.
The Verve is so cool. So is the Verve Pipe - though maybe not quite as much. They are, in fact different bands for anyone still wondering. This is like mean, gritty Oasis and I love it.
This is indeed one of the indie albums of all time. 4 stars.
Some cool spacey vibes going on in between the brief interludes of 90s cringe
trying to figure out what sets this album apart from other bands with similiar sounds in the 90's. Brainstorm Interlude is elevated rock. Similarly, History and Life's an Ocean.
the first songs were great but I fatigued on the sound pretty quick.
Always thought of them as the bittersweet symphony band but clearly there’s more to them than that. Really enjoyed this
Before they found their sound on "Urban Hymns," The Verve was an Oasis clone (maybe after, too, but just not as much). Mostly boring. Best track: This Is Music
3 ⭐️ simply for history and on your own.
I missed the bittersweet symphony
Interesting, nothing special.
It was alright. Some songs were missing from spotify.
A bit slow for me. It is sad, and melancholic. Really need to be in that headspace to appreciate it I think.
No me gusta ser el tibio de las tres estrellas pero tres estrellas.
I’ve only ever listened to “Urban Hymns” so I was a bit surprised by how rockin’ the first couple of tunes were on this. Overall, I quite liked a lot of this album, but boy the vocals and lyrics are really hit or miss for me. At times I like the imperfect nature of what he’s doing and then other times I’m just like, okay he’s not on pitch at all here. Example: loved the guitar sounds on “Drive You Home;” vocals sound like a first draft screenplay sung by a screenwriter. Other than that, I dig this band the most when they avoid the drawn out jams and just stick to the songs. And yet… there’s a reason they weren’t as big as Oasis. Still, I’d listen again.
Bueno sin duda pero nada espectacular.
Definitivamente no es su mejor disco, creo que es buena banda y me late Richard Ashcroft también como solista.
Pleasantly stormy. "Another drink and I won't miss her, another drink and I won't miss her..." 6/10
It was nice to have on while doing things around the house. This album didn’t make me stop and listen.
I liked the psychedelic bits. History the only song I knew
Vervey. Nice enough.
good album but not really 100% up my street. if i listened to it again i reckon i might add a couple to my playlist but im not really sure
Very Verve ! I enjoyed it although I’m probably not getting the best quality sound on my iPad. ***
I wish this album went out with a bang after History, it would be a solid 4 or maybe even a 5 then. As it is the back end of the album is all just a bit of a slog.
I suppose so. Not as popular as Urban Hymns, so I suppose it's cooler, right? It's not better.
Not bad, but eclipsed by the band's next release. Since this phenomenon of picking a meh album instead of an artist's piece de resistance seems to be a trend here, I can only conclude this is a deliberate fart-like attempt to make the curator here appear cooler.
Not my kind of music
Just establishing their sonic style, a warm up to their future masterpiece, Urban Hymns.
Solid techno/pop sound. I liked it overall.
Although The Verve's sound is very pleasant in it's dreamlike qualities and soaring melody parts, for me most of the pieces have a tendency to drift together, resulting in not a lot of things sticking out and catching attention. Favorite Song: History
A bit too slow and mellow. Might grow on me though.
Has some OK Computer vibes happening occasionally which I didn't know these guys were capable of. Solid mid 90s pop rock
Good review: A new decade History Song after History The bad song are kind of boring
What you'd expect from The Verve.
This is a solid album. I’d be perfectly happy to have it on from time to time. It’s not an album I would seek to play, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. Brainstorm Interlude has a pleasant chaos to it. Drive You Home and History are solid slow songs, but I did not like them back-to-back. It was too much slow in a row. I enjoyed (Reprise) as the closer.
I rather like this and think it could be something I'd listen to again. The songs are somewhat diverse in their overall sound, yet cohesive enough have a "Verve" sound and make for a strong album. The lyrics are heady w/o being pretentious. I particularly like A Northern Soul.
This album is "louder" and more aggressive than I was anticipating, especially after only knowing "Bittersweet Symphony" and listening to the first part of that album before realizing I was listening to the wrong Verve album. I like this one better than that one, but I don't like "On Your Own." Also, sometimes there's a bit too much screechy reverb, like on "A Northern Soul." The Verve do some sonically interesting, but doesn't always work for me. The repeated "I'm gonna die alone in bed" was a bit much, but later he's "too busy staying alive," "too busy living a lie," and "too busy living my life," so he seems a bit confused here. Apparently their earlier stuff is more psychedelic? But by their next one, with "Bittersweet Symphony," they get pretty poppy and use lots of strings. So what was up with this one? Well, it seems it was written and recorded on ecstacy. Not the drug I would have guessed from the first half, though I read this while listening to "Brainstorm Interlude" and it started to make sense. Still overall, though, I feel like a lot of the album was more aggressive than I would expect from a bunch of dudes on X. The second half of the album really loses steam, and loses my interest. Three stars kinda feels too generous, but a 5 or 6 out of 10 sounds right I guess. Other interesting Verve bits - a reviewer wrote that "Richard Ashcroft has a face that even a mother would say 'you’ve got mostly your father in ya;'” after they split up in 1999, Ashcroft said "You're more likely to get all four Beatles on stage" (they got back together in 2007); and finally, this is not The Verve Pipe. I hope they're not on the list, "Freshmen" is even more annoying and overplayed than "Bittersweet Symphony."
Decent, very atmospheric. Nothing really stood out.
Rating: 6/10 Best songs: On your own, Drive you home, Life’s an ocean
Not bad…kind of what I expected
Dark and psychedelic. Title track is, IMO, the best song on the album. Great closer with Reprise
It mostly sounds like noise. On some of the songs that’s a good thing and it’s used in an interesting way, and sometimes it’s not my fav. Overall good.
Ugh. Do I really have to review this. Richard Linkletter / Richard Marx / Richard whatever his name is ruins songs with his oh- so-dramatic voice. Honestly, it's not that terrible. But it is very much on the tortured artist side. Somehow it works for Tom ... oops, sorry, I meant "Thom" You're trying too hard, def doesn't rise to the level of imaginative, creative and head-bopping. But I can't hate this too much, it's 90s. "You get an 'E' for Effort, T for nice Try"