“Bitter Sweet Symphony” is the biggest single from Urban Hymns and certainly one of the standouts of the ‘90s, but the album, The Verve’s third and most commercially successful, contains other tracks that show Richard Ashcroft’s ability to write memorable and at times classic records. “Now the drugs don’t work / They just make you worse / But I Know I’ll see your face again,” grieves the lead singer on “Drugs Don’t Work,” and songs like “Lucky Man,” “Sonnet,” and “One Day” that fill up the LP perfectly capture the Wigan band’s aesthetic, which combines psych and space rock to the tune of Britpop. The band went through breakups, legal problems (w/ the Stones over the use of the sample in “Bitter Sweet Symphony), and members’ individual struggles in the ‘90s, but when they were “whole,” they made music representative of the the era. This is a limited edition 180g pressing of Urban Hymns released in 2008.
- music label: Capitol Records 2008
reviewed by donut savage 08/2016