Feature: The Verve's Raw Nerve

There's a certain strain of British pop that falls somewhere between a formalized psychedelia and what the

Beatles might have done next if they hadn't broken up after Abbey Road. It's just a strain -- I don't think this stuff

amounts to more than, oh, 50 percent of everything that comes off the island.

It's boy pop (you don't remember any girls in the Beatles, do you?), it's wan, it's self-absorbed, and it's so British that

whenever the stuff travels it seems like a freak of nature. Really, what are Oasis doing here? The Beatles were expansive,

they wanted the world; in moments they were the world, or so it seemed during the worldwide telecast of them recording

"All You Need Is Love." Shtick it may have been, scripted and blocked out note for note and foot for foot (John, stand

over here), but it was convincing, too. When the performance ended, the new song weirdly, warmly separated into

elements few might have imagined it was made from: "Greensleeves" sawed on a violin, "She Loves You" hollered by

Lennon as if he were on his way out the door, the whole museum of Western music tipped over on its side and everything

in it tumbling into the street like jewels dropped by a thief, or garbage spilling out of a trash can.