Forget what you know about Verve singer Richard Ashcroft’s solo career and remember the most hypnotic moments of the Verve’s mid-‘90s output, and 2008’s Forth is exactly the “comeback” this British quartet always had in them. They’re picking up where they left off — in search of the eternal buzz. And they locate it with the sweet feedback of Nick McCabe’s guitar as it escalates in intensity while drummer Peter Salisbury and bassist Simon Jones settle into bedrock rhythms that never falter. The opening seven-minute cut, “Sit and Wonder”, sets the schematic. Nothing will rush these boys, so it’s best to lie back and let the music wash over you. “Love is Noise” speeds the tempo slightly and is the closest the group comes to pure pop territory with its naggingly catchy chorus.  With “Rather Be”, Ashcroft evokes Jim Morrison and Julian Cope with a psychedelic blues that spells ominous doom. Elsewhere, the group indulges its dreamy side with the slow burn majesty of “Judas”, the subdued chaos of “Numbness”, the creepy piano menace of “I See Houses”, and the sublime meditation of the album’s closer “Appalachian Springs”.

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