The fact that this is the final record Richard Ashcroft is contractually obligated to make with Parlophone may go some way to explain how frustratingly by-numbers his new single ‘This Thing Called Life’ is. The faux-inspirational lyrics seem far too clichéd and his backing group are a hastily assembled bunch of session musicians, at times sounding like a Simply Red for the 2010s. However, for an artist who was in a rut stylistically, the fact that he is embracing a new sound is positive. Perhaps we can write this one off as simply an experiment gone slightly wrong, duller than it is offensive.
Released September 20th 2010