Fleeing not only his old band but guitar-rock clichés, the former Verve frontman emerges with an album of sweet symphonies, bitter and otherwise. Piled high with strings and choirs, Alone With Everybody has flashes of sublime beauty, like the pep talk ”Crazy World,” and other, creakier moments that feel like U2 (over)produced by Phil Spector (thanks to Ashcroft’s vocal resemblance to Bono). Between Ashcroft’s groggy delivery and the plush orchestrations, the result is hangover accompaniment for aging alt-rockers. A promising, if imperfect, second wind.
Alone With Everybody