The ex-Smith proves his greatness on a spiky live album
Richard Ashcroft: Break The Night With Colour
Britpop guv’nor remains scintillatingly relevant
So how does Britpop’s last man standing make his comeback? Well, he just sort of carries on. This shouldn’t work; it’s sedate, it’s not very different, it fades out, but from the opening harpsichord stabs it’s clear our Rich is still part of the pedigree of British songwriting. It’s a multi-layered lullaby of Mercury Rev synth squiggles and swirling guitars, complete with backing vocals that sound like a drunk man trying to make a point, that draws on everything from ’60s troubadours to his mid-’90s contemporaries, and will appeal to the new breed as much as his own loyal fans. “Fools they think I do not know, the road I’m taking/If you meet me on the way hesitating, that is just because I know which way I will choose,” he starts. He’s made his bed, and he’s going to lie in it, thank you. Welcome back sunshine.
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