Richard Ashcroft

Alone with Everybody

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He experienced what could have been a traumatic blow to his inventiveness and creativity as a musician but ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft is fresh. He has moved on from the effervescent prettiness of his former band to make music for himself -- something the Verve might have done somewhere in time, but it wouldn't have been so honest or stripped as this solo jaunt, Alone With Everybody. Another look into the shoegazing mind of this singer/songwriter, this record is not a comeback.

Ashcroft is optimistic, hauntingly spellbound on the album opener "A Song for the Lovers." It is a signature love song, flowing with its illustrious string arrangements and simple brushing percussion. His drawl is naturally smooth and one cannot help but to be pulled into the seductiveness behind his words. "Brave New World" and "You on My Mind in My Sleep" are also songs that can carry emotion to another level, weighing in on something surreal. He also gets poppy with a sarcastic twist on the trippy groove "New York," and the twangy sounds of "Money to Burn" clap alongside folk-rock guitar riffs. Richard Ashcroft is still tastefully infectious.

He still believes that music has a soul -- with or without his former band. He is certainly a rock star and a believer in love, death, musical spirituality, and individuality. That is what made the Verve a great rock band in the first place, but Ashcroft's superior drive to do something real only makes him and his music more endearing. He is looking ahead, not wishing for past adventures. He celebrates life, pure and simple.

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