Richard Ashcroft is back with a new album. When you hear the single, “Black Lines”, it makes you release that there has been something missing in your life; that is new Ashcroft music. Ashcroft is one of the best songwriters of the Brit Pop era, and The Verve were one of the best bands ever. As a solo artist, his music has just grown even more intense and focused. Ashcroft is one of those artists that lays it all out for you, and he pulls no punches. He tells you he won’t change, and you better believe him. I love the way the strings enrich his music without overpowering and making everything sound saccharine. Also, Ashcroft has never been a pretty boy. Every heartache, every pain, reflects in his face. He is a worthy successor of Lou Reed. Thank you, Mr. Ashcroft.