‘Born Again’ (Parlophone)

Release date – 19/07/2010

Originally appeared on GIITTV

Despite the production skills of choice Chicago hip-hop producer NO ID, the bombastic strings of Benjamin Wright – the man responsible for the strings on Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’ album – the engineering skills of Motown legend Reggie Dozier and the throng of, ‘apparently’, acclaimed session players, this single is nothing short of a hollow uninspired gesture from Richard Ashcroft and his latest insipid assemblage.

Even the songs title draws nothing but derision from this reviewer, with its evangelical pronouncement of ‘Born Again’ and lyrics dug-up from the Stone Roses and The Charlatans cast-offs, Ashcroft could do a whole lot better then bombard us with his so-called enlightenment.

Ashcroft spouts out lines without even the merest hint of embarrassment, for insistence try out this opening gem, “Cancel my subscription to the resurrection, love is the law, pure perfection”, oh there’s plenty more from where that came from, “Now I’m a man who ain’t afraid, I’ve destroyed my ego just to make the space”, oh really, no ego you say, well now there’s a true revelation, perhaps he’d better get it back.

Is this really the same man who led one of the UK’s brightest hopes, The Verve, from the dying embers of the Brit-pop bonfire?

I have to ask, as this particular phoenix from the flames, seems to have reincarnated one too many times.

God knows why a major label like Parlophone ploughed so much money into this, cos ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ this sure ain’t!

I’m relived that I only had to sit through the single, as the thought of having to ply through the 12 tracks of this pompous irreverent dirge that make up the self-titled album, makes me feel weak at the knees.

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