Richard Ashcroft – Check The Meaning (Human Conditions)

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It seems a silly thing to rank people in this way, but an argument could easily be made that Richard Ashcroft is one of the greatest Searchers of our day. Before he was out on his own, his band, ‘The Verve,’ recorded albums entitled: A Northern Soul, A Storm In Heaven & Urban Hymns. But the touching points with faith don’t end there. The lyrics of their songs are filled with questions, hopes, dreams and fears.

Bittersweet Symphony, one of the great songs of all time, was both the highest and lowest point for the band. A symphonic sample used in the song was said to be the property of The Rolling Stones and therefore was used illegally by The Verve. The song was nominated for song of the year in the midst of all this and the loss of the song and its profits (it was credited to Jagger and Richards) was ultimately the end of the band.

Ashcroft has been out on his own ever since and his search for purpose in life has never been more intense. ‘Check The Meaning’ is the sound of one man’s soul looking heavenward for answers. It is full of great lines, some that seem to contradict others, all of which comprise a song worth dealing with.

Ashcroft has had Someone knocking at his door for years and his music is his attempt answer.