This is not Urban Hymns.
I needed to say that first before anyone makes a judgement about the Verve's first album in over 10 years. Amber told me yesterday that she was having trouble with Forth, because Urban Hymns is so good. She doesn't dislike Forth, its just not Urban Hymns.
True, Urban Hymns was an epic album. One of the best ever. Some critics place it up there with the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's album. However, Forth is a terrific CD. It is undeniably Verve, although resembling their album A Northern Soul. It is more etherial than Urban Hymns and requires more thorough listening.
The lyrics continue to amaze as does Nick McCabe's guitar stylings. Highlights of the CD include Love is Noise (the obvious single), Rather Be, and Valium Skys. From what I gather, many of the songs are Richard Ashcroft's, but he decided to bring them with him to put out an album.
This album is not going to suit every Verve fan or people who only own Urban Hymns. This is Verve to the core and will be well recieved by any Verve fan who has followed their whole carrier as well as Richard Ashcroft's solo efforts.
I'm just so happy their back together. I hope this isn't just a one-off thing and that they'll continue to make more music.