Keys to the World
Richard Ashcroft’s third solo album begins with a snarl. Atheism anthem “Why Not Nothing?” rocks and rages in a way he’s not done since The Verve’s broiling “Come On” – but it’s a red herring. Scraping away some of the polish of previous solo albums, this record excels in the downtempo moments: the spartan, grand “Sweet Brother Malcolm” and aching ballads “Break the Night With Colour” and “Words Just Get In the Way”. It’s not all sombre fare though, and looping hip-hop grooves drive “Music Is Power” and “Keys to the World”.