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Richard Ashcroft | Natural Rebel
According to Justin Chadwick: “One quick glance at the cover of Richard Ashcroft’s new album Natural Rebel and it’s strikingly evident that the man some have previously called Mad Richard is anything but mad. Cool, confident and defiant, arm and guitar-adorned hand stretched upward to the sky above, the image suggests a man and musician utterly at peace with the world that surrounds him, not to mention more devoted than ever to the sentiments and songs that inhabit him.
This palpable sense of poise and positivity—which most recently surfaced two years ago on the underappreciated These People’s sublime singles “Hold On” and “They Don’t Own Me”—permeates fifth solo studio album (or sixth, if you include 2011’s United Nations of Sound released under the same “band” moniker). Across Natural Rebel’s ten tracks, Ashcroft conveys a clear and compelling message that he makes music first and foremost to celebrate love in its various forms, the byproduct of this being the enrichment of his own heart and soul, myopic critics and naysayers of his past be damned.
If ever there was a fitting title for an album crafted by Richard Ashcroft, a man devoid of artifice and superficiality who has spent nearly three decades defining his musical identity in opposition to what people expect of him, Natural Rebel is it.”