Now approaching their 30s(!), Tim Wheeler and co's last proper album is true to form.
Daryl Easlea 2007
12 years ago, Ash – Tim Wheeler, Rick McMurray and Mark Hamilton – were my first ever 'blimey, aren't pop stars getting younger' moment. Now, just on the verge of 30, they are something of elder statesmen, yet maintain the same forceful chirpiness that their best material has always displayed. Written and recorded in New York (at the studio where the Wu-Tang Clan recorded their best material), their first album since the departure of Charlotte Hatherley, is focussed and mature. Casual observers will be delighted to learn that it's not their drum and bass outing; just another great record, which, if reports are to be believed is their last, as they will concentrate on releasing tracks and singles as opposed to full-length works in future.
If this is to be the end in this format, Twilight Of The Innocents is a fabulous epitaph, as it is crammed with many old-fashioned qualities; an abundance of melody; superb orchestration (completed with Rolling Stones/Eton John legend Paul Backmaster), and a wit and lightness. It sounds like there are at least six or seven singles on here. "End Of The World" is a delicious union of Elvis Costello and, um, Wheatus; with a to-die-for chorus, it has the potential to be the indie disco "Angels". "Shadows" is pure Merseybeat. “Polaris” reminds the Keanes and Coldplays of the world who was around first. Tim Wheeler proves himself again to be a songwriter with depth and sensitivity and a crafty knack for a hummable chorus.