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Richard Ashcroft-These People [LP]
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Richard Ashcroft

These People [LP]

Format: Vinyl   Release Date: 05/20/2016
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    Track Title

    Time

  1. Out of My Body
  2. This Is How it Feels
  3. They Don't Own Me
  4. Hold On
  5. These People
  6. Everybody Needs Somebody to Hurt
  7. Picture of You
  8. Black Lines
  9. Ain't the Future So Bright
  10. Songs of Experience

Six years after forming the United Nations of Sound -- a pseudo-group that lasted no more than a single record -- Richard Ashcroft pushes himself back into the spotlight on These People, a 2016 album that finds the former Verve singer reuniting with Wil Malone, an orchestrator who worked on Urban Hymns and Northern Soul. Malone's presence suggests These People may achieve a certain symphonic heft, yet Ashcroft sidesteps the churning psychedelia and progressive majesty of the Verve's prime. In its place, the singer/songwriter taps into a certain insouciant sophistication, favoring insistent arena anthems and finely tailored Eurodisco. Often, Ashcroft's intentions are apparent -- it's evident whenever he's following the blueprints of "Bittersweet Symphony" and "The Drugs Don't Work," just as it's clear that the dance beats and electronics are a bid for hip credibility -- but he winds up with sounds that aren't the ideal vehicle for whatever vague sociological protest Ashcroft attempts to mine here. If the music is separated from the message -- which is fairly easy to do, due to its slippery shimmer -- These People functions as a pleasing adult alternative record. True, it's an album that favors mood over form but after several somnolent solo records, not to mention the botched ambitions of the United Nations of Sound, the cool assurance and shiny veneer of These People is quite welcome. [These People was also released on LP.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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