Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. 80
    The qualities that once made The Verve the nation's top anthemists are recognisably intact on this new effort, from its stately pace to its burnished sense of grandeur. [Feb 2006, p.70]
  2. His voice sounds better than ever, and while nothing here recaptures the glory years of The Verve, his songs are more focused than ever before.
  3. Rarely has he sung this well. [Feb 2006, p.99]
  4. For the most part, Keys To The World is a definite step forward and demonstrates that Ashcroft is finally hitting his stride as a solo artist.
  5. A deeply personal, occasionally lifeless but equally insightful passage into the latest chapter of Richard Ashcroft's life story.
  6. What compensates for 'Keys To The World''s shortcomings... is that voice. [21 Jan 2006, p.33]
  7. Keys to the World does have a few great moments, but it's not the definitive solo record he's been promising.
  8. 60
    Very focused and quietly anthemic. [Feb 2006, p.92]
  9. What both sinks and saves the album is Ashcroft's songwriting. [#13, p.90]
  10. Not terribly different [from 'Human Conditions'], though certainly more pastoral and perhaps more middle of the road.
  11. Sure it’s full of unwavering confidence and some pretty songs, but the dull groove Richard Ashcroft seems to have settled into is striking.
  12. 50
    More corny than convincing. [May 2006, p.91]
  13. Too much is sodden with his overbearing ego.
  14. Give or take the odd tweak - a Bittersweet Symphony-ish orchestral sample on Music Is Power, some dated-sounding world music influence on the title track - Keys to the World sticks fast to the blueprint: soft-rock plod, songs that abandon verses and choruses in favour of dragging out a simple chord sequence to the point of distraction.
  15. His voice is bland and has little variety.
  16. In trying to wrest profundity from simplicity, Keys to the World is only profoundly disappointing.
  17. How the mighty have truly fallen.
  18. Swept up in maudlin strings and chintzy brass, Ashcroft blurs his anguished syllables like Tom Petty doing Bob Dylan, embraces U2-jerkoff bombast, and follows his idiosyncratically generic muse into uncharted depths. Keys to the World is as hilariously indulgent as "Trapped in the Closet", if vastly less self-aware; it's also a more laughable satire of contemporary music than Bang Bang Rock 'n' Roll, though less durable and totally accidental.
  19. [Ashcroft] possesses one of the definitive rock voices and has an undeniable gift for melody, but he pairs those talents here with truly insipid lyrics and uninspired MOR arrangements.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 48
  2. Negative: 11 out of 48
  1. Radiolab?
    Dec 7, 2009
    4
    The single "Music is Power" and title track "Keys to the World" are both fantastic and remind you of the heights Ashcroft is capable of. The single "Music is Power" and title track "Keys to the World" are both fantastic and remind you of the heights Ashcroft is capable of. However, the rest of the album falls far short. It's hard to listen to without thinking how much better this could've been were it made by The Verve. Full Review »
  2. MarcA
    Jul 27, 2006
    9
    A great and simple album from Richard Ashcroft.
  3. JackT
    Jun 6, 2006
    8
    Since anybody can be a critic, i decided to write one of my one. And i just wanna say Richard Ashcroft is a genius. Three solo albums prove Since anybody can be a critic, i decided to write one of my one. And i just wanna say Richard Ashcroft is a genius. Three solo albums prove it plus his The Verve time. He has the voice, the lyrics and the melodies. Critics just don't like him because he lost the name "The Verve". But, Ashcroft is and walwys will be The Verve. Anyway, remember the critics from Rolling Stone gave Eminem 5 stars. Full Review »