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Natural Rebel Image
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length solo release for the British rock artist was produced with Jon Kelly and Emre Ramazanoglu.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Mojo
    Oct 16, 2018
    80
    Ever constructed around our hero's robust tenor and rattling acoustic, then adorned with A-grade orchestration, it inescapably evokes Urban Hymns. [Nov 2018, p.93]
  2. Q Magazine
    Oct 16, 2018
    80
    These songs might not defeat Fu Manchu, but they're a fine addition to Richard Ashcroft's hand. [Nov 2018, p.100]
  3. Dec 19, 2018
    60
    This is a rootsy album of pedal steel guitars, orchestral flourishes, and rather sweet songs of a happy life. When an artist has given us soundtracks to our youth and failings, we afford them an enormous amount of goodwill and do not begrudge their good fortune. Natural Rebel is not without it's shine.
  4. Oct 19, 2018
    50
    There's nothing rebellious about the music and not much natural, either--but its immaculate anodyne tones are soothing, and that's superficially pleasing, even if it doesn't remotely seem attached to the Richard Ashcroft of lore.
  5. Oct 22, 2018
    50
    Though Natural Rebel has its moments, it all feels a bit staid and stale: not so much rock’n’roll rebellion as conventional cliché, both musical and lyrical.
  6. Oct 19, 2018
    40
    It feels staid, played out, and more than a little boring; despite Ashcroft’s pleas for energy, it feels absolutely zonked out, the wire-thin production helmed by the songwriter himself.
  7. Oct 16, 2018
    20
    Ashcroft's vocal, which once soared and demanded your attention, sounds languid and forced to the point where one is left wondering if he can muster up any will power himself to sing what are by and large, trite soundbites that could have been written on any number of post-it notes.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 20, 2018
    10
    Amazing album written by amazing songwriter and singer. Every song is catchy and beautiful. SURPRISED BY THE JOY
  2. Nov 12, 2018
    9
    Richard Ashcroft is no ordinary songwriter. Thus he's not everyone's cup of tea..fair enough.
    This album is a departure from the more
    Richard Ashcroft is no ordinary songwriter. Thus he's not everyone's cup of tea..fair enough.
    This album is a departure from the more apocalyptic "These people". In Natural Rebel you come across a more stoic Ashcroft contemplating issues of love, life and age. The sound here is also traditional with acoustic guitars, even venturing int country music territory
    No two Ashcroft albums are the same and you have to commend the artist for being true to himself.
    Venturing into middle age, Ashcroft on the surface sounds a bit more mellow, but the fire in the belly is certainly there.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this album, keeps growing on me every time i listen to it.
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  3. Oct 20, 2018
    7
    It's a good, clever album, but it sins at various times. I expected more...
  4. Dec 20, 2018
    7
    Let me start by saying I'm a big fan of The Verve and while I have always found Ashcroft's solo stuff enjoyable, it's many leagues below whereLet me start by saying I'm a big fan of The Verve and while I have always found Ashcroft's solo stuff enjoyable, it's many leagues below where he operated with his band. Each of his solo albums has moments that you have to tip your hat to but I think the world is in agreement that the band dynamic added much and more to Ashcroft's base materials. So to "Natural Rebel", solo album number 5 released by a rocker now closing in quickly on 50. The first few times I played this album I had it on in the background or at the very least I wasn't giving it my full attention. At the time I was underwhelmed, felt it was slow paced muzaky stuff. More recently I have had it on late at night in relaxation mode and also in full listening mode. It's a much better album than I initially thought, mature, uplifting and well written. It goes without saying your not going to find a Bittersweet Symphony here but you only get one of those a decade. "Natural Rebel" is a collection of 10 strong songs worthy of proper attention. Richard Ashcroft still has an amazing voice and here he has written some great songs to use it on. Expand