Human Conditions

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Feb 25, 2003
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    100
    Though elaborately orchestrated, the songs retain their intimacy, communicated in Ashcroft's vocals, which, over the years, keep getting warmer. [7 Mar 2003, p.72]
  2. Further indulges his penchant for meticulously-crafted songs, exquisite production, and (sometimes painstaking) personal and spiritual introspection.
  3. It is the best of what Ashcroft does best: thoughtful incantations teeming with emotion, clarity, and vision.
  4. Spin
    80
    Stunning pop for pale after-party people. [March 2003, p.119]
  5. Mojo
    70
    An overreaching cathedral, designed by Spiritualized, Kris Kristoferson and John Barry, Human Conditions still somehow charms with its hungry troubadour's idealism. [Nov 2002, p.102]
  6. 60
    Human Conditions is the sound of Ashcroft searching for personal and spiritual connections and seeking higher truths in soaring pop choruses. All this existential meditation leaves us, like him, ultimately unfulfilled.
  7. It's a decent second album and longtime Verve enthusiasts should leave it at that.
  8. Uncut
    60
    At times he tries too hard, but there's much here to commend. [Nov 2002, p.114]
  9. Ashcroft's mastery of balladry makes "Buy It in Bottles" his best since the Verve's "Lucky Man."
  10. Human Conditions suggests that Ashcroft has forgotten how to rock, choosing to indulge what appears to be a messiah complex.
  11. Human Conditions is as bloated and directionless as its awkward title suggests, weighted with meandering songs without melodies, lyrics straight out of freshman-year philosophy class and a sickly slick sheen.
  12. Blender
    40
    Good living has tilted his writing from surefooted and universal to numbing and platitudinous, while his stormy passions are becalmed by an overwhelming production job. [#14, p.130]
  13. Q Magazine
    40
    Human Conditions is not a musical disaster on the scale of Heathen Chemistry. It's just that, from Richard Ashcroft, more is expected. [Nov 2002, p.98]
  14. Magnet
    30
    He sandbags every song with gigantic, syrupy string arrangements that make John Williams sound like John Cage. [#58, p.82]
  15. Easily 30 minutes too long and four symphony orchestras too many, Human Conditions feels like a soundtrack to Barnum and Bailey, with Ashcroft’s earnest vocals drowned out by a cast of thousands.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Apr 24, 2012
    7
    Second solo record from the former Verve front man. Not a bad record - it's got some good stuff on it, opening Check the Meaning is a topSecond solo record from the former Verve front man. Not a bad record - it's got some good stuff on it, opening Check the Meaning is a top tune. There are a handful of other decent songs on here. There's also a few slow paced boring numbers that will help any insomniacs out there sleep soundly. Probably his strongest post Verve offering but nothing on here would get close to Urban Hymns. No doubt Ashcroft is a talented song writer but consistency ain't his strong point. Full Review »
  2. IñakiZ
    May 12, 2006
    9
    Pop Master! Brian Wilson sings on it!
  3. anshumans
    Oct 13, 2003
    7
    well, i had heard alot abt the verve...gotta know abt tem thru bitter sweet symphony.. what a track! well i liked this album at the first well, i had heard alot abt the verve...gotta know abt tem thru bitter sweet symphony.. what a track! well i liked this album at the first listen itself. meaningful lyrics,well balanced music,a good album man!! Full Review »