Monday, 26 November 2012

Richard Ashcroft 'A Song For The Lovers'

Chart Peak: 3


Following the break-up of The Verve, ex-lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft showcased his first solo material this year with the release of debut single 'A Song For The Lovers'... It's been a momentous year for Richard who became a dad in March when his wife Kate gave birth to a baby boy called Sonny.
It's unclear whether a female child would have been named Daughtery instead. Incidentally, his wife was once the keyboard player from Spiritualized, which is the only mention they're likely to get on this blog.

It's perhaps only too apposite that Ashcroft follows Coldplay here. Not only did he briefly end up on Parlophone as a result of corporate reorganisation, but as a member of the Verve he shared the experience of sudden and unexpected massive success with the Urban Hymns album (which, ironically, started out as an Ashcroft solo project). In fact they must have been all the more surprised than Coldplay, having endured a long spell of critical acclaim with only moderate commercial success (boast: I bought one of their singles in 1995). Indeed they'd already split up and reformed once by the time they hit paydirt, and his official solo debut followed a second split. By this time, of course, success was very much expected, and there was little incentive to rein in his grandiose tendencies: you can hear that all the way through this track, from the important-sounding title to the length of the track (over five minutes in the single and album versions - the fact that I only noticed today they'd lopped over a minute off for the version here perhaps shows how much padding there was). It's even carried over to the video, where he seems to think we want to see and hear him brushing his teeth over the song itself. Unfortunately, there's a decent tune hidden in here somewhere but Ashcroft's ego has submerged it under tons of string sections and vocal overdubs and the melody isn't strong enough to cope.

Also appearing on: Now 53, 54, 63
Available on: Alone With Everybody

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