suburban hymns more like it
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.
suburban hymns more like it
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
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.
It’s kind of amazing how every Britpop record ever made landed on the 1001 Albums list. I mean, what are the odds? This one’s ok. 76 minutes of Britpop is too long for me.
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.
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.
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.
Please stop making me listen to this awful drivel
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.
Like listening to paint dry. 4
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.
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.
Just have a look at those singles; Bitter Sweet Symphony, Lucky Man, The Drugs Don't Work, Sonnet.
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.
The Verve have officially graduated into "Mild and Forgettable", a step up from their previous class of "Boring to the Point of Physical Pain."
LOOKING AT THE HEAVENS WITH A TEAR IN MY EYE 🥲
Sounds very nice
First year. Robert Gordon university. Garth see flats. On repeat.
Love this album
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.
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!
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!
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.
BITTER SWEET SYMPATHY, THAT'S LIFEEEE!
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
What a guy! What a band! What a hero! Ooooh what a day!!!
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.
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.
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
This album was a mainstay during my original iPod (technically 3rd Gen, blue screen, black text unit) in the late 2000s. Haven’t heard it all the way through since then. I read some of the other reviews before listening again and was surprised so many people were rating it pretty low. Came to the realization that Urban Hymns falls in the same category that I’ve read a bunch of different albums on this list as far as well too. Mostly songs go on way way way too long. I think it’s definitely I was grooving to it during that time because I would be listening with nothing else really going on. Maybe riding the bus home or something. Bittersweet Symphony is obviously the centrepiece and main draw on this one. The lyrics, although pretty simple, are just purely elemental at this point. I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me. I remember in the late 2000s when the Verge reunited and people were in awe of how good Bittersweet Symphony sounded after it, not really being in his eye guys for the past 10 years. I’ve always thought that that is the songs legacy, when you hear it for the first time in a while you’re bowled over by how big it is. I think the only song that’s come close in the past 25 years is The Mother We Share by Chvrches. Equally of a time and already nostalgia triggering. Otherwise, Lucky Man is a song made for walking around during golden hour. And the drugs don’t work is an incredibly depressing song that still works. The Verve are definitely a band You have to listen to more passively, in the background to truly vibe with I don’t know if this is a truly great album, but I am going to give it five stars. It’s firmly in the canon of my musical upbringing.
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
Massivly accomplished album that arise during the Britpop era. Super smoothe production and ace songs with Ashcrofts resonating voice. It perhaps became a bit ubiquitous at the time but its a good album of pop rock.
An exceptional surprise in every way I went into this very unaware of this group The first track "Bittersweet Symphony" is a song that I instantly knew, but I never knew it was by this group. It is an incredible track and it continues to be a big hit today. That was the only song I knew off of this album. Every other track was the first time I heard it. Rolling People, Space and Time, and Lucky Man were my 3 favorites off this one. Overall, an incredible album that I will definitely be revisiting.
I'm surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this. I think it just scrapes a 4 from me, as I love the sound they have. Some of the jams in the earlier part of the album, on some relatively long songs, were really fun. It does commit the cardinal sin of being far too long though, there's no reason for an album like this to be over 70 minutes long. If it was a tight 9 songs, ~50 minutes, we'd have a real gem on our hands, but when you've got your sound nailed down like this, it gets tiring by the last few songs. Well worth a listen regardless though.
It seems to me that non-Brits always have an odd concept of what Britpop sounded like. American’s especially seem to associate it almost exclusively with acoustic ballads a la Wonderwall. And while I do get how that image has come about, it’s pretty far from the truth of what was happening with Britpop. It was a diverse genre, stretching through the early 70’s-ish hard rock of Oasis, the late 60’s-ish power pop of Blur, the spiky glam of Suede, the class politics fuelled New Wave of Pulp, and numerous others. Any sound you liked from the previous three decades of pop music, you could find a good Britpop approximation. Where the Verve come in is providing the Psychedelic part of the Britpop movement. Coming from a shoegaze background and eventually adding more keyboards, strings and acoustic elements as their sound evolved, by 97, when Urban Hymns was released they had already broken up and reformed a couple of times. I’ve always thought this tension really came through in the music. It’s big and orchestral, and more than often light and airy, but there’s always a brooding melodrama just behind the surface. It’s one of my favourite Britpop albums, and a lot of the songs are a close contender for some of my favourite songs of all time, but I do bow to some of the more critical voices this time. It is 75 minutes, no album needs to be that long. But, for a lot of those 75 minutes, Urban Hymns is perfection
I actually expected this album to be better. But the most well-known songs are awesome.
Putting Bittersweet Symphony at the very start of this album was a mistake. They blew their load way too soon, and the only other fine track is The Drugs Don’t Work which is also not far behind Symphony on side A. It truly goes on way too long for what it is. I feel like every track could be used as credits music for early 2000’s romance movies, and I wouldn’t be able to differentiate half of them from each other, much like early 2000’s romance movies. Not atrocious, but astoundingly milquetoast.
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.
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
Fantastic album. Was only familiar with the singles before this, but every track is strong, from first to last. Can't fault it.
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.
Steh wirklich auf dieses Album…
Not as good as A Northern Soul
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.
As good as it ever was.
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.
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.
love weird uk sad boyssss
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!
liebe das album. millionenmal gehört mit 16 (und nicht wegen ‚eiskalte engel). ‚the drugs don‘t work‘ ist eine meiner lieblingsnummern drauf
Clássico. Mas o primeiro álbum desses caras, "A Storm in Heaven", é melhor.
Que bien suena esto la puta madre.
One of my all time favourite albums. The album that really cemented Richard Ashcroft as a phenomenal songwriter.
They are all almost as good as Bitter Sweet Symphony
Discazo, una maravilla
Masterpiece. One of the best of British 90s albums.
Наверное очень хороший альбом
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
So glad to meet you
Me ha gustado más de lo que pensaba que me a gustar. Venga, un 5! The Drugs Don't Work se lo merece.
Love the Verve. Feel like their timeless
much better than northern soul - real britpop classics on here
Great album, Go on Richard!!
One of my top 10 albums. Takes me back to my college days and good memories.
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.
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.
Best album so far
This is a classic album for me and I enjoyed every moment of it!
Me ha gustado más de lo que pensaba que me a gustar. Venga, un 5! The Drugs Don't Work se lo merece.
Very impressive album. The feel, tone and melodies are consistently great. I really enjoyed Drugs Don't Work, Lucky Man and Space & Time... i was surprised that track after track is solid and really easy to enjoy/appreciate on the first listen. Adding it to the Library.
Have always liked Bitter Sweet Symphony but never thought to get the rest of the album a shot. It was splendid!
I feel biased because this album pretty much defined my early adult years. One of the only CDs that was in my car.
Är en förbaskat bra platta.
Cause its a bittersweet SYMPHONY
radio head vibe good
Shi was fire
This is like an old friend who's popped around for a cuppa when you're feeling down. Evocative and accomplished. Very much a 90s album it epitomises the decade to me. C'moooon, bring it on maaaan!! Manchestaaaarr!!
One of my favourite 90’s albums, so completely biased review but absolutely love this album, all the singles from this album are outstanding. A britpop masterpiece.
Find the reviews saying it's one good song absolutely crazy - Urban Hymns is an all time great but also has Sonnet & Drugs don't work. Love this album as it's moving away from the disposable pop rock of the time and being self reflective while still being rooted in youth drug-taking, up for a fight energy.
Consistently mellow ambient psychedelic-britpop. The 4 singles - Bittersweet, Sonnet, The Drugs Don’t Work, and Lucky Man - are fantastic. Easy full listen.
This is the first album I ever bought that isn't by the Lightning Seeds. It got extremely heavy rotation in my school days and influenced which other music I would choose to listen to in my formative years. It will be interesting to see how it stands up a quarter of a century later. UPDATE: The main thing I've learned from listening again is that it's impossible to be objective about an album that has significant personal context. If I listened for the first time now, I may feel the album is bloated, lacking in variety, too cleanly produced and the songs are over-long. However, memory and familiarity are powerful attractive forces, and I can still sing along to every word, decades after I last listened to the album in full. Listening to the album conjures up the same feelings as it did 20 years ago. Its layered strings, guitars and vocals give it an ethereal quality, which combined with Richard Ashcroft's aching and longing lyrics make it quite affecting and beautiful. As before, whilst Bitter Sweet Symphony is the banger that brought the record to my attention, the rest of the first half does comparatively little for me. It is tracks 7 ('Space and Time') to 12 ('Velvet Morning') that I loved and still retain a lot of affection for today ('Weeping Willow' may be my overall favourite). Whilst they offer little in variety, they have a lovely, despairing but somehow uplifting atmosphere that I can happily sit in for half an hour. Each is also carefully written with distinct and memorable melodic hooks built in to their verse, bridge and choruses. These songs, words and melodies are seemingly etched onto my brain. I really enjoyed revisiting this and won't wait another couple of decades before my next listen. I make no apologies for the entirely subjective, context heavy, rating. Rating: 4.5/5 Playlist track: Bitter Sweet Symphony Date listened: 25/05/23
This just FELT good. I love the layers and tones of guitars and other classical instruments peppered throughout the album. Ashcroft has a distinct, emotive voice. Another pleasant surprise as I had only heard the singles.
I listened to this a lot in high school. I usually skipped Bittersweet Symphony(it being first on the album made it so easy), just tired of it due to it being overplayed. I don't find much of a dull moment on here, and their sound is pretty unique. It seems like people thought they were a less successful Oasis, but I think this tops anything Oasis made.
Three tracks stand head and shoulders above the rest: "Lucky Man", the hypnotic "Bitter Sweet Symphony", and the heart wrenching "The Drugs Don't Work".
Great album. Been a fair few years since I listened all the way though but yeah, this album is an easy 5 for me. Love it