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Charlatans, The

Modern Nature LP

After losing drummer Jon Brookes to brain cancer last year, the Charlatans set up camp in Cheshire to record, in the words of Tim Burgess, “songs that made us happy”. Replacing Brookes on percussion were Pete Salisbury of the Verve, plus New Order’s Stephen Morris and Gabriel Gurnsey of Factory Floor, a duo known more for metronomic precision that smile-inducing numbers. Opener Talking in Tones has a Higher Than the Sun comedown vibe that feels more about the price paid for happiness than hedonism itself, but by the second track, So Oh, they start to come good on their upbeat promise. Backed by a bouncing bassline and Hammond organ, it’s more west coast than Black Country, and that warmth continues throughout. Rhodes piano tones and more organs accompany Come Home Baby, which is followed by Keep Enough, a glorious lament for an absent friend. Let the Good Times Be Never Ending, perhaps the strongest track, mixes slow-building Doorsian exposition with 5th Dimension-style wig outs and backing vocals. From the saddest of starting points, the Charlatans have made a joyful eulogy – and possibly the best album of their career.
-- Lanre Bakare, The Guardian
item # 38832
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