The latest single from the Charlatans, a teaser for their as-yet-untitled 12th album, is being put out by none other than our friends at the Quietus! Apparently it's strange, haunting pop with Onyeabor-inspired rhythms and a big chorus, with Quietus alumni Grumbling Fur providing a "cone-friendly" remix on the other side.
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- Talking In Tones by The Charlatans
2 reviews. Add your own review.
Is the glass half empty or half full? Kinda both and neither, really: the Charlatans' new song "Talking In Tones" is full to the brim in its choruses and completely emptied out in its verses, overflowing with an abundance of ridiculous and delightful tricks at its crux -- huge organ sounds, a cyclical guitar riff and cooed vocal harmonies that dramatise Tim Burgess' stoical vocals -- but feeling strangely sparse and traditional elsewhere. The exchange makes the song all the more immense -- the Charlatans understand, after decades of punching hearts 'til flat, how to build to the best moments. The relatively hushed, open-space verses of "Talking In Tones" are measured exactly, so that the verses can feel all the more suffocating. It's a delightful example of a band going laissez faire and then full force.
On the flip, the song gets warped and wrecked into a robotic shuffle that could only be the work of Quietus' pals Grumbling Fur, operating as Fur Star Liner Aquatic Ape as part of their dead-faced psychedelic attempt at benevolent world domination. The remix zones in on just one of Burgess' lyrics (the ambiguous "I never liked the fact") and a very small selection of the original's motifs. It becomes spectral, in Fur's hands, with vocal samples echoing out of the studio and into the field, as drums lose all grip on reality and skitter towards the tree-line. "Talking In Tones" is already free-flowing, forward-thinking pop music, but with their rework, Grumbling Fur give it the nod of approval, welcoming The Charlatans into the fold of experimental's inner circle. The Charlatans are cool, and don't you know it.
9/10 Russ Hope Customer review, 17th November 2014
I'm a long term Charlatans fan after the first time I saw them live in 1995 at Manchester Apollo just before the huge explosion of Britpop! Telling Stories was around the corner but the tour was for The Charlatans album - Rob Collins was still around that was the Band then and they are still knocking out great tunes nearly 20 years since that gig! Talking in Tones, isn't one of the most anthemic tunes the band have penned but it's craft is unique and is part of the ever evolving Charlatanic sound. This move in direction is intriguing but no surprise cause you can hear Tim's O Genesis label influences in there along with the completeness of the rest of the band. After Jon Brooke's sadly passed away the band could have easily called it a day but in true Charlatans fashion they got on with things....Jon would've wanted it that way! Talking in Tones has a great background musing about telepathy between couples and the comfort in those thoughts. The rolling rythmn of the chorus is trademark Charlatans and reminiscent of some of the wonderland/Us and Us Only grooves. Looking forward to the album early next year and I've got the tickets ready for the Manchester Albert hall gig. 2015 is gonna be a landmark year for a band that has been through its fair share of ups and downs......they deserve some more highs for a bit.
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