This week’s selection is Richard Ashcroft’s Human Conditions. It’s the sophomore album from the former lead singer of The Verve, and, well… it’s kind of disappointing.
I really dug his debut, Alone With Everybody. It was refreshing and rather grandiose, but in a good way. In an “I’m a lead singer and I’m finally free from the constrictions of a band” type of grandiose fashion. It set its sights high and more often than not, it hit them.
This album, on the other hand, is grandiose in a type of “fat Elvis spectacular” fashion. Case in point; “Check the Meaning” is a good song but kind of goes on a bit long, which sucks because it’s the opening track and sets the tone for the album.
After that it kind of meanders. Few tracks stand out. Bonus cut “The Miracle” is reminiscent of some of the best of his debut, but it’s all too brief a visit. “Nature Is the Law” sees Ashcroft playing around with his voice. He deepens it enough to give him an almost “Johnny Cash” quality.
I do distinctly remember buying this album at Big B’s when I first moved to Las Vegas. I saw it in the Ã¼ber-discounted section, and I didn’t even know Ashcroft had a follow-up album. I was excited, apparently for no reason.