Album review: RPA & The United Nations Of Sound - United Nations Of Sound

RPA & The United Nations Of Sound: United Nations Of Sound ***Parlophone, £11.99

Trust former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft - a man who has never been one to hide his light under a bushel - to come up with such a portentous name for his latest band/ego massage. But working with Jay-Z, Michael Jackson and Mary J Blige associates has provided the impetus for him to shrug off the musical torpor of his previous solo efforts.

United Nations Of Sound jumps straight from the old school rhythm'n'blues judder of How Deep Is Your Man? to the flabby MOR ballad She Brings Me The Music, encompassing the sub-Stones wah-wah riffola of Are You Ready? and the ill-fated sweet soul pastiche Life Can Be So Beautiful along the way.

But fear not, Verve fans, there's still scope for his usual patchwork lyrical bombast. "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection, love is the law", etc, etc.

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