Overcoming yet more hurt, the baggy survivors unveil a groovy, forward-facing album 12
For 27 years, tragedy has dogged and driven The Charlatans. When keyboardist Rob Collins died in a car crash in 1996, they created 1997’s comeback masterpiece ‘Tellin’ Stories’. Now, in the wake of drummer Jon Brookes’ death in 2013, their survival instinct has kicked in again. Twelfth album ‘Modern Nature’ focuses on classic Charlies attributes: airy, melodic, Hammond organ-heavy, sizably foonk-eh. When upbeat (single ‘So Oh’, the Brookes-dedicated ‘Let The Good Times Be Never Ending’) it sizzles with the pop groove of ‘Wonderland’. When contemplative (‘Keep Enough’, ‘Emilie’) it pays tribute to their ‘60s and ‘70s roots with soul strings, bongos and Latino acoustics. ‘Come Home Baby’ is glorious and ‘Lean On’ could be the eccied-up twin brother of 1992 single ‘Weirdo’. There’s expansion, too: the modernist beats on ‘Talking Tones’ and ‘Trouble Understanding’ are out to tell a whole new story. Both modern and natural, tragedy has tugged defiance from The Charlatans once more.
Director: Jim Spencer
Record label: BMG
Release date: 26 Jan, 2015