Album Review: The Charlatans – Modern Nature

The-Charlatans-Modern-NatureThe Charlatans – Modern Nature

Indie Rock

73%

The underdog band of the Madchester and Britpop movements of the 90s have perhaps had the last laugh by releasing one of their strongest albums. The album is far from ‘Modern’ as it mixes the psychedelics and subtle hooks of Madchester with the ethereal organ, harmonies and funky bass of old fashioned soul. The album is mature and mid-tempo and surprisingly doesn’t get bogged down too much; probably thanks to the infectious choruses and lively drumming. It’s certainly an album that needs time to grow on you. At first it seems rather cold and uninviting but after a few listens the warmth and quiet optimism start to seep through. The highlights for me are “Come Home Baby” and “Keep Enough”, which here show them at their funkiest and most upbeat, and the album climax “Let the Good Times Be Never Ending”. The opening trippy fills and anthemic chorus give way to a mostly instrumental coda where the band alternate between experimentation and building up the sounds to give the song a triumphant conclusion. I’m struggling to find fault with the album apart from that it’s the kind of music that you need to be in the right mood for. The fact that the band made such a good album so late in their career both credits them as musicians and bodes well for future releases.

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