Richard Ashcroft, The United Nations of Sound - RPA & the United Nations of Sound

Emma Murphy 14/07/2010

Rating: 3/5

In a recent interview with Q magazine, Richard Ashcroft boldly claimed that he was the greatest front man EVER, and that he didn't want to be a clown anymore and briefly touched upon getting arrested for walking into a YMCA and trying to teach the residents music...allegedly somewhat against their will!!

So then Ashcroft's clearly feeling confident but with his latest album -RPA & the United Nations of Sound however Ashcroft fails pulling off being the lucky man on this one. Opening track and first promo single 'Are you ready' is a great opener but then an anti-climax is the result of the next track 'Born again' which seems very detached and far away from Ashcroft's lyrical abilities and totally saturated in a wah wah pedal sound that leaves the track feeling clumsy and rushed. The album reclaims back some of its strength with 'Good Loving' a great tune, deep generating a cast-away feel that Ashcroft does so well. The thing is with Richard Ashcroft, love him or hate him, it can't be disputed that the work he did with The Verve and his previous solo projects such as 'Alone with Everybody' and 'Human Conditions' were a sign of how Ashcroft can really connect with what he is singing, a creative artist that appears to have experienced what he's writing about.

RPA & The United Nations of Sound although conatining some hidden gems, those hidden gems such as 'Royal Highness' have been dampened down and lost by the likes of 'America' an old timed Western themed track that has undertones of a hip-hop track, it's bizarre to say the least, it totally lacks any resemblance of what Ashcroft is capable of. Verve fans will be taking a second glance at their MP3/CDs to see if this is really Richard Ashcroft that their listening to, I'll give credit to Ashcroft; he has certainly stepped outside of his creative music zone on this one, which I'm all up for up but I'm not convinced that this time it works, thus I'm left with a feeling that although this album overtime could be a grower there's nothing here that's currently blowing my shirt up.

Release Date: 19/07/2010