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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Urban Hymns

The Verve

1997

Urban Hymns

Album Summary

Urban Hymns is the third studio album by English alternative rock band the Verve, released on 29 September 1997 on Hut Records. It earned nearly unanimous critical praise upon its release, and went on to become the band's best-selling release and one of the biggest selling albums of the year. As of 2019, Urban Hymns is ranked the 19th best-selling album in UK chart history and has sold over ten million copies worldwide. This is the only Verve album to feature guitarist and keyboardist Simon Tong, who initially joined the band to replace their original guitarist Nick McCabe. McCabe rejoined the band soon after, however, and Tong was considered the fifth member of the band; this makes the album the only one that the band recorded as a five-piece. The album features the hit singles "Bitter Sweet Symphony", "Lucky Man" and UK number one "The Drugs Don't Work". The critical and commercial success of the album saw the band win two Brit Awards in 1998, including Best British Album, and appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in April 1998. "Bitter Sweet Symphony" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. It was also among ten albums nominated for the best British album of the previous 30 years by the Brit Awards in 2010, ultimately losing to (What's the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis. In 2013, NME ranked it at number 128 in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.44

Votes

5527

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
  • Britpop
Reviews
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View Author
Fri Jan 15 2021
1

suburban hymns more like it

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Tue Nov 24 2020
1

Starts with their biggest hit, and that's where it may as well end. Super generic, all the tracks are way too long considering the lack of diversity on the album, honestly super shocked this album is even on this list. Probably the biggest example of the British influence on this list. Would honestly only give half a star for the hit if I could

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Fri Dec 24 2021
2

I've always found The Verve to be SUPER forgettable, with Bitter Sweet Symphony being the only track that is remotely memorable (I can even hum it!). I was excited to dive into this album, the first time I've purposefully listened to The Verve for an extended period, and my first whole album experience. Sorry to report, but this has not changed the needle for me AT ALL. My opinion is completely unchanged. The Verve is like U2, if they were less annoying, but also way more generic. Every single track is at the same exact tempo, and has a complete lack of energy to it. Sorry to bother you, Verve. Didn't mean to interrupt whatever you were doing and have you record this album. The exception to this is the last track, "Come On!", which features heretofore undiscovered techniques for our boys, include changes in TEMPO, changes in VOLUME, and lyrics sung with EMOTION. This last track, and the fact that they *are* less annoying than U2, gives them an entire bonus extra star from me.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
2

so slow and mawkish. crawls along like a wounded animal with a broken leg, except a wounded animal probably wouldn't whine as much. honestly don't understand why this albums gets bummed as much as it does. what is it for? are you supposed to be moved by the beat? cry about the sad subjects? whine along? does it make you feel cool? do you marvel in the musicianship? is it for slitting your wrists? what is it for? musically this should be good, with the wall of sound thing with mountains of reverb and guitar noises but barring about 5 minutes this album bored the slimy green shit out of me, its just pseudo cool depressing bollocks. the worst bit about verve is it feels like lets have a look at what you could have won - the track this is music off the previous album is superb and if they could have gone down that road they would have written a brilliant album, but instead they went down the lowest common denominator depressing emo sell records to the masses road instead. so instead of being legendary the verve sit in the same boat as starsailor and embrace, in fact i put starsailor on after this to see if that was a fair comparison and i enjoyed starsailor more than this.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
1

Best Song: Bittersweet Symphony. Even though the song is overplayed, it felt like the only song on the album that woke up and came to play. Worst Song: Catching the Butterfly. Slow, meandering, with a kind of nasal drone. Overall: Not entirely sure what there is to like about this album. The massiveness of Bittersweet Symphony overshadows the rest of the album, which comes off as sleepy and uninteresting. It doesn't even have the decency to be short.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
1

Please stop making me listen to this awful drivel

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Fri Jul 29 2022
1

Zombie rock drivel from Glastolad lug nuts. Good for a pre-football match chant and a good racist head kicking (probably). Whatever era they think they're reviving doesn't exist except in the Sunday Mirror. I hate this.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
1

Incredible how this was such a big album back in the day. Take the worst aspects of Oasis, mash with the uninteresting bits of World of Twist, lard it all with draggy tempos and voila, you have Urban Hymns. Imagine, if you will, a damp late autumn day in the UK. Outside the sky is slate grey, and greasy rivulets of rainwater slide down the windowpane. In front of you is a half-burned, half-pink sausage swimming in beans and soggy mushrooms. This is a tolerable life you have found for yourself. Urban Hymns by the Verve is playing on the stereo.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Excellent album, some classic 90's indie rock. Stand out tracks are the singles but the album tracks are strong also, good riffs and vocals throughout.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

This is right up my street. The opening track is quite possibly the best tune to ever kick off an album. Bittersweet Symphony gives you shivers that so many bands would only dream of passing to their fans. It then leads on to the brilliant Sonnet and The Rolling People, which is not quite on the same level but is a good tune in its own right; though, little does that matter once The Drugs Don’t Work flows into your ears. A beautiful ballad that brings a tear to ones eye. Catching The Butterfly is another somewhat atmospheric song that I really enjoyed, almost like a palette cleanser to Neo Wilderness which goes full acid trip for a little while before travelling through Space and Time. Weeping Willow is another wonderful experience embracing The Verve’s love of the ‘wah wah’. I almost forgot that Lucky Man was coming on this album due to the slightly druggy preceding tracks but it was a welcomed ballad to lift you up before the last portion of the album. The last few songs on this album wind down the feel and you can tell it’s coming to a close, what you can’t tell (if you bought the album when it was released) was the onslaught was heading towards you as a hidden track. Come on is a powerful ending to a fantastic album and if you end right to the end there is an extra piece of psychedelia for you. It sounds like you are supposed to play it in reverse and listen out for some satanic messages; but this isn’t the white album, so let’s not. Overall I loved it, thought about being a little more conservative considering it’s competition in this 1001 albums list but screw it, it’s getting a 5.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

What a guy! What a band! What a hero! Ooooh what a day!!!

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

I've seen a side to The Verve i've never heard before. My favourite discovery here is "The Rolling People". There is a nice mix of different sounds here, though I found the pacing of this album a bit off, constantly switching between slightly upbeat and then down again, which is why this isn't a 5/5 (a Coop 2/5). Not a good review due to only listening while cooking lol

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Sun Apr 25 2021
2

Like listening to paint dry. 4

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Tue Apr 26 2022
2

I (like everyone else) remember bittersweet symphony, it was everywhere in the 90s. The Drugs Don't Work was also in the charts in Australia, although I'd forgotten that (and didn't even know who sang it) until it just played. I'd thought it was some alterna-wuss Aussie band like Powderfinger or The Whitlams. And those songs are *just ok*; the rest of the album really isn't very good. It just plods along while you wonder if it'll ever end. I really like Oasis, but even though this sounds kinda similar it really didn't do anything for me. It was like decaf coffee or non-alcoholic beer: it almost tastes the same but without the kick, why would you bother? I'd rather have a glass of water. But whatever - if this album was half an hour (and not SEVENTY-FIVE MINUTES) I'd have probably given it a 3. But it had no business being boring for that long, so it gets a 2/5.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
2

The Verve have officially graduated into "Mild and Forgettable", a step up from their previous class of "Boring to the Point of Physical Pain."

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Tue Jan 18 2022
1

Spun through this once and had no interest to do a second listen. I remember thinking, "Oh, I know that song," but it didn't lead to anything that I'd want to know better. I could see this being of use as background music in a bar where nobody wants to listen.

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Thu Nov 26 2020
5

LOOKING AT THE HEAVENS WITH A TEAR IN MY EYE 🥲

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Tue Nov 03 2020
5

Always amazing

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Thu Dec 03 2020
5

Sounds very nice

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Excellent

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

First year. Robert Gordon university. Garth see flats. On repeat.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

Love this album

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

Just have a look at those singles; Bitter Sweet Symphony, Lucky Man, The Drugs Don't Work, Sonnet.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

10/10 album

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Very interesting Album! A few hits which are nothing to be disliked (especially with its recording quality). The Melodic lines happening on the background (Example "One Day") play really well with the harmonization of the songs. Creates very cool build ups ! "The rolling people" is a really good song, my favourite! Reminds me of Pearl Jam without sounding like a copy. Overall I Think it should be 5 stars! Personally not what I will be listening a lot but worth 5 stars.

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Fri Jan 08 2021
5

Bittersweet Symphony is pretty much a masterpiece of a song. The rest of the album also had a lot more depth than I expected and I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. Just good music, good songwriting, sufficient variety and finally just a very good album!

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Wed Jul 14 2021
5

Excellent

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Großes Album! Klassiker! Setzte 1997 den endgültigen Schlusspunkt der Britpop-Welle, aber was für einen! Nur Hits! Neben den bekannten Singles ist übrigens „The Rolling People“ mein Favourit auf dem Album!

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View Author
Fri May 14 2021
5

This was a fantastic album. It was strange hearing Bittersweet Symphony in context after hearing it in isolation so many times, and it is still definitely the highlight track, but there are plenty of songs on here that are overshadowed by it. I hadn't heard all of the singles before - they're all very strong. I don't think this album has aged much whatsoever since it's release.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

I already knew about half of the songs on this album. Ive seen Richard Ashcroft live, Ive listened to his solo stuff, all great pieces of music. Probably a little off topic but he truly was an iconic musician and I think Urban Hymns showcases it very very well

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Fri May 21 2021
5

Fantastic album. Was only familiar with the singles before this, but every track is strong, from first to last. Can't fault it.

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Thu May 13 2021
5

I wasn't expecting to love this album so much. Properly enjoyed it from beginning to end, and will definitely be adding this to my regular listening. I can see why this album made it so high in the UK album charts, tune after tune from the get-go.

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Sat Jul 31 2021
5

Steh wirklich auf dieses Album…

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Tue Oct 12 2021
5

Doyamadimm

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Wed Oct 13 2021
5

Not as good as A Northern Soul

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Thu Oct 28 2021
5

Awesome

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

BITTER SWEET SYMPATHY, THAT'S LIFEEEE!

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

A great album that braves uneven rhythm at times. Many sing alongs to boot. I don’t know if ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ refers to party drugs or antidepressants, and I won’t find out

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

What a silly walk. I didn't actually listen to it because I have many times before and I'm not really in the mood to.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

Elsk <3

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

As good as it ever was.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Great Brit-Pop classic here, some great tunes with the expanded strings adding to the usual Brit-Pop '90s sound. Absolutely love it and it is already in my collection (albeit being in CD form) some great classic tunes here "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is a classic as is "The Drugs Don't Work" I also like "Weeping Willow" and "Velvet Morning" are also of credit. Rightfully in this list I believe.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

Starts off very strong with Bittersweet Symphony. Gets a little calmer with Sonnet, then picks it up again with The Rolling People. Follows the same general up-down trend throughout the album which leads to something greater than a sum of it's parts, pushing it to a 5/5.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

love weird uk sad boyssss

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

Legitimately shocked how good this is. A lot of 90s albums are too long, and a lot of Britpop isn't produced super well, but while this is a bit long, it's engaging from start to finish. And the production is so clear and fulfilling! Great songwriting too, and the performances are wonderful! Wow!

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Fab! Classic.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

I love 90s alternative and indie, but I have gone through life without too much knowledge on The Verve's discography, so I was excited to check this out. (Almost) everyone knows Bitter Sweet Symphony, and what a great album opener it is! It really sets the stage for the album and is a good representative of the rest of the album's similar quality offerings. The symphonic motif from Bitter Sweet Symphony cascades throughout all of the songs, calling back to it. The word "symphonic" reminds me of hymns, so I can't help but wonder if there's something at play here with their album title? There is a dreamy, psychedelic sound that is woven throughout this album, making it really easy to listen to. With the exception of one track, these songs are all at least 4 minutes long, many in the 5-7 minute range. There's an air of passion in this album where these guys seem to just be jamming and feeling the music with no regard for track length. For me, all of the above points help craft this album into a cohesive experience from start to finish, making this album's whole greater than the sum of its parts. Everything except Bitter Suite Symphony was new to me; my standouts on this album were Sonnet, Space and Time, Weeping Willow, Lucky Man, and Velvet Morning.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

liebe das album. millionenmal gehört mit 16 (und nicht wegen ‚eiskalte engel). ‚the drugs don‘t work‘ ist eine meiner lieblingsnummern drauf

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Sun Feb 06 2022
5

Clássico. Mas o primeiro álbum desses caras, "A Storm in Heaven", é melhor.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Que bien suena esto la puta madre.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

One of my all time favourite albums. The album that really cemented Richard Ashcroft as a phenomenal songwriter.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

They are all almost as good as Bitter Sweet Symphony

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

Discazo, una maravilla

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Masterpiece. One of the best of British 90s albums.

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Sat Mar 26 2022
5

Наверное очень хороший альбом

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

Awesome

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

An absolute classic. One of my favourite albums growing up, and listening again showed me why. Only change since 20 years ago is that I enjoyed the longer, gentler, more contemplative songs more than when I was younger. Loved it, from start to finish

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Thu May 12 2022
5

Sounds like drinking beers in the sun, smoking marlborough lights, cracking on with girls and feeling invincible... All the best bits of being in your late teens in the 90s. Rose tinted, yes, but the best memories are. It's not an unbiased rating, of course. But still.

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Sun Jun 19 2022
5

So glad to meet you

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

This album is probably in my top 10 of all time, let alone top 1001. In 1997 I had just entered my teenage years, full of angst and dealing with a bereavement. The summer holidays were spent with a heavy emphasis on watching music TV and you couldn't go more than about 30 mins without The Box (channel 17) VH1 (23) or MTV (30) playing Bittersweet Symphony. A family friend bought me Urban Hymns on CD and wow, it was so much more than BSS. Full of feeling and resonating as much with my teenage psyche as it does now I played all 74 min of it over and over. The culmination of the album with the 'big fuck you' in Come On also features one of my favourite lyrics - I must be feeling low / I talked to god in a phonebox on my way home / I told you my answer / I left you my dreams on your answering machine

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

Me ha gustado más de lo que pensaba que me a gustar. Venga, un 5! The Drugs Don't Work se lo merece.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
5

Classic album!

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Love the Verve. Feel like their timeless

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Mon Sep 26 2022
5

much better than northern soul - real britpop classics on here

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

Great album, Go on Richard!!

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

One of my top 10 albums. Takes me back to my college days and good memories.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

It was so lovely to return to this album. I think, in the future, when any Top 5 representative 1990s Brit (pop) album list is put together, it'll contain this, alongside Definitely Maybe, Parklife, Different Class and OK Computer.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

It's a shame they were essentially one hit wonders at least in the US, this album is actually very good. Like some albums are a collection of songs but this one really moves nicely, it's cohesive and makes sense without being repetitive. Ill probably listen again soon.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Best album so far

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Thu Sep 10 2020
4

was a good album with indie vibes

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

2/11 Another great, psychedelic Britpop album. Standout Tracks: Bitter Sweet Symphony, Sonnet, The Drugs Don't Work, Space And Time, Come On / Deep Freeze

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

This was such a breezy listen. Such good driving music, too. Also I don't hate Bittersweet Symphony as much now, so there's that.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

good. deserves another listen

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

The opening and closing tracks are great, not a lot of underdeveloped potential on the track listing.

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Sun Apr 04 2021
4

Great brit rock album

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Sat Mar 27 2021
4

Great opening track. Tracks 3&4 both phenomenal. Hits a few songs which are ok but seem more filler. Great Segways in between songs.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
4

4.1

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

Bittersweet Symphony takes me back. I like the rest too.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Nice og chill album, har avskrevve det pga bitter sweet symphony

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Love this album but really only 4 decent songs!

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

8.1

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

7

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Sat Feb 06 2021
4

Man this album took me back. HS grad year. I’ve never listened to the whole album but it was so good. “The drugs don’t work” is a beautiful song.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Good, but that first song is overrated.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Three big hits on this album took my right back to high school. Other stuff not quite as good but true to the same feeling. Solid 3.5 but I’ll go ahead and bump to 4

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

worse oasis. Not bad but worse.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Bittersweet Symphony shines in the album, one of my favourite songs! Loved also Weeping Willow.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Really liking her voice!

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Ca se ressemble bcp du debut a la fin mais pour la premiere chanson qui est un mega hit. 4*

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Spoko, przyjemne. Kojarzy mi się trochę z Oasis. Dziwna płyta, zaczyna się Bitter Sweet Symphony a kończy prawie na country

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Bittersweet symphony is so good. I like the alternative vibe but it is like a watered down Radiohead, still enjoyable and I could listen to this a few times.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
4

Iconic disco

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

One hit + great music. Many fillers and instrumental parts worth analyzing.

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

7. First song was pretty good, not much else to write home about.

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

Pretty mopey and long but actually pretty cool and interesting! 7/10

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Scrapes a 4

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Thu May 13 2021
4

This album was great. Definitely one I'd like to listen to again sometime to learn the songs better. 1RS

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Wed May 26 2021
4

so _that's_ where that song comes from!

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

I don't know about everyone else, but just so many songs that I knew but had no idea that it was the verve.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Die eerste noten, pure nostalgie! Pakweg de vijf eerste nummers waren heel tof, het midden was wat eentoniger, maar mooie inhaalbeweging tegen het einde. 3.5

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

Es mucho más que solo los singles más conocidos, tiene varios temazos a los que no se les ha dado la importancia que realmente tienen. Por momentos se acerca al rock psicodélico. Muy bueno.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Nice song, has some classics. Really ties in well with itself

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

This wasn't great, but it was really good. 3.6/5 stars. Bittersweet Symphony might be the most well known, but some of the songs on the album are just as good, if not better.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

Urban Hymns is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. It is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
4

6.5

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Cool milestone in late stage bitpop, though I usually like my psychedellic rock less produced.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Notes: Ah the World Cup is on guys let’s go. “Bah bah baah, bah babybel” - about 4 mins into “The Rolling People” A bit like Bran said in a different album, this gives me a kind of a non-specific nostalgia and though I wouldn’t be likely to actively put this album on, it’ll get a better score cus of this (well probably if there was a better rating system) Ok boys I’m being nice to you today don’t ruin it with a stupid fucking hidden track like that

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Quite good, I liked the vocals and guitar. 8/10

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Mon May 31 2021
4

Great! Like Oasis but without two brothers who hate each other and wanna fight all the time.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Urban Hymns is an emotional album tinted with a relatable sadness. It isn’t an incredible vocal performance nor a writing one nor musical one, but The Verve do everything good in a special way. The alchemy between all songs is wonderful and embraces for more than an hour the listener. Is Urban Hymns innovator ? Not really. Is it flawless ? The last song’s ending and the lack of risks taken makes me write no. However, is it good ? Absolutely. It is pleasing to hear and I am definitely going to be listened to again it again.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

Good album. For me personally the rest of the album doesn't live up to the famous Bittersweet Symphony, but it's still mostly very good.

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

Still sounds really good. The singles got a bit overplayed but it all works together as an album

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Sat Jul 31 2021
4

Großer Pop aber halt Pop

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Sun Aug 01 2021
4

Bittersweet Symphony has always seemed ubiquitous to me. Nice to hear some of their other songs, I am liking this quite a bit.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
4

This was really good. Like a summer meadow.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
4

Оказывается, у них ещё песеи есть

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Sat Sep 18 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: The bitter sweet symphony

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Fri Sep 24 2021
4

Britpop muy animado. Un megahit

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Amazing.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
4

Enjoyed this more than I anticipated. The singles are obviously ubiquitous, but some of the nods to earlier Verve work (Neon Wilderness, Catching The Butterfly and Rolling People) were a nice surprise. Sonnet is a classic of the time, and Drugs Dont Work teeters on the brink of Coldplay but RA’s vocal saves it. Not really a bad song on the album.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
4

Kende alleen de hitjes. Heb me er in m'n jonge jaren niet verder in verdiept omdat ik afgeschrikt werd door hun levensmoeie uitstraling. Maar er bleken ook nog een paar onbekende parels op het album te staan.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
4

Ik kende eigenlijk alleen de 3 of 4 bekende tracks, maar de rest van dit album is ook behoorlijk ok!

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Thu Sep 30 2021
4

Toffe plaat! Niks meer, niks minder

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

An atmospheric indie classic.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

I'd only heard the singles prior to tonight's listen to this album. A very carefully crafted album that has a big presence musically, but lyrically is very introspective. Kinda like Oasis without all the grandstanding cocky swagger. The singles fit in perfectly with the rest of the album. I really enjoyed this one.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Solid late 90s rock.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Pretty good mix of strong songs.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

Still good, still not amazing enough for 5 stars (2nd time rating this one due to switch to Group).

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Sun Nov 14 2021
4

Pretty good! Started off strong, faded a little, and then finished nice!

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

4/5

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Solid album. Richard Ashcroft's writing is awesome. It's a shame this was released while Oasis were riding their success. Not as good as Morning Glory but in my opinion competes with definitely maybe and in some ways is better.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Just float away on this magnificent Britpop album

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Good. This one could grow on me, I’ll have to go back and listen more some time

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Sat Nov 27 2021
4

beh beh beh

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Wed Dec 01 2021
4

probably a 5 star album at the time from a small band that got big and were then big but the world got smaller or something

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

Not exactly a helter-skelter fuck party like I'm used to attending, more a wholesome children's birthday spoilt by an uncle who's shooting heroin on the picnic blanket. NODDY'S OFF HIS FACE ON KETAMINE! NODDY'S OFF HIS FACE ON KETAMINE!

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

The first time I heard The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" was Halloween 1997 at the Pontiac Silver Dome. It was U2's walk-on music and my dad and I were there because we won tickets. I think I had another social engagement in podunk Mid-Michigan that I cared more about and was bummed that I had to see U2 with my dad. That was dumb but I was 14 and was really figuring out how to be a dick for the most insignificant reasons. Today, this concert is one of my top 10 and a great memory I share with my dad. Anyway, U2 entered the arena from the end zone opposite the stage and proceeded to walk through the crowd while this song played. They were all dressed in costumes for Halloween. Bono was a boxer and sang along with this song. I'll bet he wished he wrote that song. It sounds like "Beautiful Day," which would come out just a couple years later. 1997 wasn't the year that I was interested in hearing British dudes sound like updated versions of The Beatles. That's what The Verve sounded like to me. But I held on to the positive memory from the U2 concert. In the mid 2000s, my Uncle Rick (Godfather) turned me on to Richard Ashcroft's solo records. I really got into "Alone with Everybody." Listening back to "Urban Hymns" was a nice experience. The Verve are a great band and much more mature than the bands they were grouped with at the time (looking at you, Oasis). I'd take this music over Oasis any time. I will listen to this record again if I can remember to. Hopefully "following" the Verve on Spotify will be the catalyst I need... ha. And, strangely, I'll think about U2 every time I do.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
4

Beautiful album! Excellent vocals, very reminiscent of Oasis and Kasabian. Soaring instrumentals

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Tue Dec 21 2021
4

I really dig it

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

Pretty decent album throughout though it really gets bumped up due to the two singles.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
4

8 out of 10 it's aged quite well for me

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Sun Jan 09 2022
4

I am a casual fan of THE VERVE. I own and have listened to their first three albums: A STORM IN HEAVEN (1993); A NORTHERN SOUL (1995) and URBAN HYMNS (1997) plus the B-side compilation EP NO COME DOWN (B-SIDES & OUTTAKES) (1993). I like THE VERVE and their three albums. I say I am a casual fan because I don’t continually listen to the songs on a regular basis to distinguish one song from another. So, the question arises as to why I was only a casual fan. I think mostly because of the Britpop genre. None of the Britpop bands held any sustained interest for me. I did like some of the Britpop albums from Suede, Elastica and Blur. After listening to URBAN HYMNS after about a 20-year absence of not listening to their music, I find that I still like it very much, of course, the brilliant sounding and video for BITTER SWEET SYMPHONY deserved to be a hit. THE VERVE provided the most consistent run of three very good to excellent albums. So, for me, with all the debate about the Britpop Oasis vs. Blur vs. Suede vs. the rest of Britpop. My choice is the short reign of THE VERVE before Britpop fell out of favor. In 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, I see that A NORTHERN SOUL is a second album included in the book. I would have thought A STORM IN HEAVEN would have been the second entry instead. Rate Artist: THE VERVE (4.5) Rate Album (Year): URBAN HYMNS (1997 Original) (4) Rate Album (Year): URBAN HYMNS (2017 2CD Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition) (4.5)

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

I really liked this one, feels like the Verve should be known for more than just the one song.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
4

Honnêtement surpris. Je m'attendais à ce que juste Bittersweet Symphony soit bonne, mais l'album au complet est solide. Je sais pas à quel point c'est une pièce d'anthologie, mais définitivement un landmark des années '90s.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
4

The Drugs Don't Work is a standout, but all sounds good.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
4

This is the band at the height of their powers. Taking on Oasis in the 90's and probably winning on a few fronts.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
4

Overall, the songs are way too long. 4 of the songs are absolutely phenomenal, perhaps some of my favourite songs ever. Utterly beautiful. There’s a stark difference between the 4 hits and the other songs however, the disparities between them make much of the album feel like filler. It felt drawn out, bloated, and dull in places. Each song is about twice as long as they really ought to be. 4/5 - Most of the album is a 3 at best, but Bitter Sweet Symphony gives it a push.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
4

Kewl

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Mon Jan 24 2022
4

The Verve have always occupied an odd place in the pantheon of 90s Brit-pop/Brit-rock. While the lines were being drawn between the hard-driving, albeit at times simplistic, rawness of Oasis and the sonic adventures of Blur, the Verve seemed more than happy to tread the lines of the two; acoustic guitar anthems like The Drugs Don't Work sound like they could have been written by Noel Gallagher himself, while still being able to pull off 6 minute psychedelic-lite adventures like Catching The Butterfly. Although The Verve never did reach the heights attained by either Blur or Oasis, the band succeeded in emulating both bands without sounding like a complete rip-off of either. Much credit for this, in my opinion, goes to Nick McCabe. From slide guitar twangs to catchy, to sonorous horn-like feedback, the guitarist approaches the instrument as one who uses a hand ax like a boomerang; it might not be the conventional way to do it, but it gets the job done. He lends a sort of post rock credibility to the band, best exemplified in Neon Wilderness, with its atmospheric guitars, creeping bass lines and steady beat, evokes a mood that makes one think of Mogwai. This writer did not care much for the tracks that were more straightforward, favoring rather songs that veer a little off-center, like the aforementioned Neon Wilderness, and Weeping Wilderness, where the band explores with wah-pedaled guitar as a textural layer. Urban Hymns also sees the band tastefully use orchestral strings, in a way that adds tasteful layers that do not drown out the rest of the band. All in all, a record that warrants a revisit, at the very least to figure out the guitar work.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

Great four song start to this album, after only previously listening to Bittersweet Symphony. Good alt rock. Rest of the album was also good, need to give it several more listens to sink in though.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

New album for me! The first song "Bittersweet Symphony" I grew up with, and it's pretty well known among my generation. The strings used throughout the album create such an interesting dynamic. They sound like a more-polished version of Oasis. Really enjoyed this one!

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Mon Feb 07 2022
4

I bought this album when it came out because of Bittersweet Symphony alone, and my blind faith that there would be more than just the one track paid off. That didn't always happen. To this day I still get The Drugs Don't Work stuck in my head at odd times. Lightning in a bottle. Best track: Bittersweet Symphony

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Tue Feb 08 2022
4

I like the sound and style of this album. Some cool textures, good melodies, and they perform very well. There are some real nice breaks in songs, too, during which they go into some interesting directions (e.g., that dreamy-feeling bit in 'The Rolling People'). I hear some genuinely excellent musicianship in this album, too. A few wild guitar moments in there. Nice.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

I mean yeah, it's a solid album. "Bitter Sweet Symphony" in a monster of a hit to come out of the gate with and the album just kinda coasts on that momentum, never really gaining any additional oomph. By the time the album crosses the finish line, you're left with the impression that you've just heard some decent rock music but with very little memory of any particular track besides the first.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

legalzinho, tipo oasis

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Tue Feb 15 2022
4

Really enjoyed this album. Had only heard Bittersweet Symphony before, and was surprised by how much I liked the rest of this album. It's added to my library!

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Tue Feb 15 2022
4

I only knew one song from this album, but was pleasantly content with the rest.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
4

bittersweet symphony, good 90s album. great sound.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
4

Banger

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

Felt a bit bloated but some good songwriting, probably felt bigger at the time of release.

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Sun Feb 27 2022
4

The Verve's best album. Some really great songs, but still not a masterpiece. The whole album blends together.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
4

Bitter Sweet Symphony is a classic, but the rest of the album is also great.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
4

Nunca manejen en carretera con Bitterweeet Symphony, es por su seguridad. Una vez dicho eso, creo que este es un muy buen disco, del cual destacan obviamente los sencillos que siguieron sonando por años y que casi hacen a The Verve un one hit woner… no más que son tres: Bittersweet, Drugs Don't Work y Sonnet. De todo el disco y de toda la historia de Ashcroft mi favorita es Drugs Don't Work, pero si siento que este disco está claramente en esa línea en su estilo de sonido y de intención.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
4

Un poquito pesado pero de un gran sonido. Son pocas las canciones que están a la par de Bittersweet Symphony pero tampoco es que el resto sea malo. El cierre es lo más flojo del disco aunque no opaca el resto del disco. Sólido 4.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
4

Required listening for anybody who knows only Bittersweet Symphony!

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Tue Mar 08 2022
4

Pretty classics sounds with a few bangers. I felt quite nostalgic for this album but to be honest, giving it a fresh listen I didn't love it as much I thought I would but it does undoubtedly have some bangers on it

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Tue Mar 08 2022
4

Wow I was super surprised how much I enjoyed this and also how many songs I knew! I listened to this twice. I also didn't realise this was 90s, thought it was early 00s. Britpop classic

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Sat Mar 19 2022
4

so so good

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Tue Apr 05 2022
4

This was one of the best albums of the genre around that time. Especially when they slow down, with Bittersweet Symphony, Sonnet, Lucky Man and Drugs Don't Work they're at their best. Good album. Not great. 3,5*

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

I liked most of it, but not all of it. Britpop has proven to be a bit of a hit and miss to me. Bitter Sweet Symphony is my favourite song off the album.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

It gets an extra star for bittersweet symphony

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

Algjörlega stórbrotin plata.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
4

Taas yksi nuoruuden suosikkeja. Ihan samalle tasolle ei kuitenkaan päästä genren 90-luvun kärkinimien parissa. Vaikka levyn kohokohdat ovat epäilemättä 5* tasoa, pudottaa heikoimmat hetket kokonaismielipidettä. Varsinkin levyn loppupuoli koostuu paikoin hieman omituisesta rokkiräminästä. Livenä Verve/Richard Ashcroft olisi kyllä kiva taas nähdä. Sen verran timanttista settiä oli Kaisaniemessä jokunen vuosi sitten.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
4

Mjög gott stöff.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

Vintage banger, not quite as good as the earlier stuff - and way too popular with mouthbreathers for my elevated sense of musical taste. Cant deny some of the tunes though, however much of a prat he was

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Sat Apr 23 2022
4

That SYMPHONY was anything BUT bittersweet

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Sat Apr 23 2022
4

This was so much better than I expected.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Coming off the tail end of the Britpop wave, Urban Hymns operates as some sort of final scene before the end credits. All of The Verve's history was captured and crystallized with this album, keeping one foot in the populist, swaggering sounds of the moment while keeping the other foot in the psychedelic universe they once solely occupied. While this album does feel a bit bloated with the album length, there are moments where the songs prop up the album with its immediacy and accessibility. It may not be anyone's cup of tea but this is still something to go out of one's way to listen to if there is any particular interest in where British music was in 1997. Favorites: Bitter Sweet Symphony, Sonnet, The Drugs Don't Work, Catching the Butterfly, Space and Time, Lucky Man, This Time, Come On.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

Solid

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

Very good. Exceptional guitars.

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Sat Apr 30 2022
4

I love the 90s. Yea, another album full of hits from my childhood

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Tue May 03 2022
4

I hate Bitter Sweet Symphony. Because I hate that song so much, I never even considered the rest of this album. One song grossly overshadows a fantastic album.

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Sat May 14 2022
4

- Ohhh it’s that song - Lots of effects - Sounds good - Nice guitar arpeggio in The Rolling People - I like the mood throughout the album - very repetitive lyrics - I like the lyrics in Lucky Man - whole albums has excellent string sections

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Tue May 17 2022
4

this is the second album I am reviewing and comes hot on the heels of Stone Roses. I was surprised that there is a gap of eight years between the two, as in my head they were from about the same time but that probably says more about my lack of interest in most of the music of the 90s. Whereas I thought the Stone Roses album was insubstantial beyond Fools Gold and Waterfall, Urban Hymns is a much stronger offering. Not just because of the standout singles - Bittersweet Symphony, Lucky Man, the drugs don't work - but also the coherent sound and quality of songs like Sonnet, and the clever use of orchestration. There are one or two weaker songs, but overall Urban Hymns boasts a strong sense of identity with a distinct sound that sets the Verve apart. Genuinely impressed and would consider buying this

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Wed May 25 2022
4

It's strange to listen to an album that I never heard about, even recognizing almost every song. This could be good or bad depending on the listener. In my case, this is good. An unknown classical

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Tue Jun 07 2022
4

Bitter Sweet Symphony, Lucky Man, The Drugs Don't Work, Sonnet...what tunes!! The rest might not be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed them. A solid album of very 90's vibes.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
4

C'était bien

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

I once listened to A Storm in Heaven about a year ago in my car and it just flew by without me paying attention to any of the songs. I quickly realized it's an album I'd have to sit back and listen to... I have yet to re-visit it. But here we have Urban Hymns, a later album I had only known for the hits "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and "Lucky Man." Reading up on the band, they shift from shoegaze into pure Britpop. Two comments: (1) I've heard this trend plenty of times before in early Suede (Drowners) and Blur (Oily Water), and (2) this is complete bullshit. These songs are still very heavy in psychedelia, having a fuzzy space sound reminiscent of Flaming Lips or Spiritualized. Combined with Will Malone's strings produce a symphonic effect in the hits which explains the impact they have on people. I'm personally a bigger fan of the psychedelic deep cuts. It's slow, melancholic, and atmospheric, with his somber vocals staying consistent throughout the entire ride. Despite being over an hour long, there are only 13 tracks, each well fleshed out. They all left an impression on me, although I do admit I started to lose attention in the final stretch after "Lucky Man." But honestly "This Time" (so energetic!) and "Velvet Morning" (that country influence!) are both awesome tracks, so that confirms "One Day" is the weak link that should be cut. Whoever says they're generic is just a flat liar... they're clearly Britpop but it's too cloudy to be lumped together with anyone else. People already complain about how different the Big 4 of Britpop sound from each other, no need to pull The Verve into this label too. I could see why one might think that though, as the songs didn't innovate much and mostly stuck to a formula that I assumed followed from their only earlier work. Sure, I like the effects, violin(?), and swirly guitars, but I couldn't say much about the riffs, bass, or drums beyond they're fine and mixed well. The only other complaint I can offer is to reduce the length, as the hour+ is a bit too uncomfortable. I can only understand how unbearable it can be for people who are not as crazy as I am about their sound.

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Sun Jun 19 2022
4

I’ve herd this one once before and my god it’s long ( not bad though)… The album starts with bitter sweet symphony an extremely powerful orchestral rocker initially I found it odd as the album’s opener but one I listened on seemed like there was no other option! Sonnet is a solid acoustic rocker with an explosive arse chorus whats not to like? Then is the rock heavy song the rolling people it’s amazing to some extent as because of the songs sheer length you’ll probably know the chorus off by heart in listen one but it just seems too long for this song. The drugs don’t work is the verve’s intensely beautifully amazing swan-song it’s not my favourite track but it’s the best you know! (For the next 4 songs the album takes a psychedelic turn) Starting with catching the butterfly like the rolling people this one does drag a little but it’s still a fine psychedelic rock song and one of the albums best. Neon wilderness is this trippy interlude showing we’re fully plunged in the drugs for a while. Unique but not a fan. Well space and time is less druggy than I remember it still is a little druggy but it’s mostly brought on by the guitars in the verses.The best bit is the rocking chorus though. Weeping willow is still how I remember it though an amazing dramatic little psychedelic rocker with an amazing chorus to end off this section of the album. Then is lucky man an odd duck in the tracklist feeling like it should be on the more acoustic/ rock based first third but actually being placed in between the psychedelic second third and the somewhat forgettable last third. The song itself is my favourite of the album though amazing chorus! One day starts this mixed bag of a final third thing one is one of the worst ones just a dull little sad song nothing really appeals to me here to be honest. This time is oddly unique yet generic as it experiments with more hip hop sounding instrumentation which is cool but the song just feels so dull. Velvet morning picks up the quality of the album being a slower beautiful little acoustic song with a thundering chorus could’ve closed the album on its own. As the closer come on is the oddest pick to close an album with its a heavy psychedelic 6 minuter but somehow it works don’t get why great tune. I think one the generator it’s overall a little overrated compared to the rest of britpop being an average of around 3.5 while which is similar masterpieces like pulps different class and oasis and blurs albums and somehow greater in rating than both suede’s album’s which were ultimate gems of Britpop. But rant aside it’s good but with way too many tracks that dull it down from being as good as the album’s I mentioned previously… Oh I forgot deep freeze is shit!

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Britpop muy animado. Un megahit. Un 4.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

idk, it’s okay I guess WAAAYYY too derivative of U2, imo but still pretty good I guess it’s a 7/10 for me

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

I know this album well and listened to it on earphones this time around. It’s a masterclass on creating atmosphere.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

very vervey

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

Cool sound, much more my style than Bruce

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

-"Bitter Sweet Symphony" was pleasant -"The Rolling People" gets pretty heavy -End of "Weeping Willow" with the echoey vocals under the main vocals is cool -Super cool and heavy in "Come On." The mix of the guitar and keyboard and drums grooving along is super solid -I really hate hidden tracks in this style. "Come On" is a great track but there's just 6 of silence before the "Deep Freeze - Hidden Track" starts -The hidden track, "Deep Freeze - Hidden Track" is an interesting spooky, computery, squeaky thingy -Overall, cool slightly chiller alt-rock album. Does not fall into the common pitfalls of some music like this where it is just super boring. There's enough dynamics and instrumentation and stuff to keep it interesting

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

Cosmic indie. Gets well derided this album… but that’s unfair. Very special LP!

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Tue Jul 26 2022
4

This was far better than some of the bland pop that mimicked it.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
4

Bittersweet symphony opening track. what a banger. I know I've listened to this whole album before but I'll sit down and pay attention this time. I added a couple of these songs to my spotify, pretty solid mix of psych, shoegaze and britpop. Didn't know that bittersweet symphony sampled rolling stones!

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Sat Aug 06 2022
4

Remove the 4 big singles and you are still leaft with a consistently good album, the final refinement of the Verve sound (mid-paced winding and wistful with the occasional outburst of pissed off vocals and angry guitars). Only four stars because it is only one song, a great song, done in 10 slightly different versions.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
4

The vibe of all of these sounds similar to BSS, but less brooding and sad maybe. I'd listen again.

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