The record starts strongly with Are You Ready? Ashcroft holds nothing back in this stirring anthem filled with synthesizers, strings and a rousing guitar solo.
Although single Born Again doesn't quite measure up to the opener, it is a catchy rock song with soaring strings set beneath guitar riffs. Other pleasant tracks include bluesy number How Deep is Your Man? and the piano-driven She Brings Me the Music.
It's when Ashcroft departs from the familiar that the album loses its way. He makes an awkward shift into hip-hop tune America, and This Thing Called Life, an R&B ballad that features Ashcroft rapping over a choir.
Ashcroft's lyrics hold the album back, too; they remain inane, despite tackling issues such as love and religion. In Are You Ready?, he says: 'Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist too, I feel so ... free I don't need all of you'. That's about as illuminating as his moralizing gets.
United Nations of Sound has some pleasant songs but doesn't reflect Ashcroft's true talent.