When The Verve released 'Love Is Noise' as the lead single for their comeback album Forth, hopes were raised. Then the album itself was heard and with it came the realisation that the lead single was possibly the only decent song there.
'That Rather Be' is rather more like Richard Ashcroft’s solo material than The Verve’s enviable back catalogue is about as close to a compliment as possible. Sure, sweeping strings and a choir aim to propel the track to grander places but what is the point when this sounds purposeless? Lost amidst trying to ape what The Verve used to stand for; namely a sense of ambition and confidence.
By the second verse even Ashcroft seems unable to sing anything resembling words, let alone give them meaning. McCabe appears hidden amidst the proposed dramatics when his soaring guitar could at this least attempt to save this shambles. Ashcroft asks, ‘Is there anywhere better than here?’, proving as prophetic as ever with his audience then.