It's hard to fathom but as well as tweeting on a secondly basis Tim Burgess also manages to help make regular bursts of music both solo and with his beloved the Charlatans. It was hard to be anything but nice about their last album as a) it was genuinely good to have them back and b) if you did so the entire Twitter community would gang up on you. Anyway this is a brand new album from the band and the first since the sad passing of drummer Jon Brookes. Features guest spots from Anton Newcombe (the Brian Jonestown Massacre/Twitter), Johnny Marr (the Smiths/Twitter) and Paul Weller (not on Twitter).
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The Charlatans were always a great singles band and 2015's 'Modern Nature' proved that they are one of the few veteran bands who can still hold their own and make music that is enjoyable and not an embarrassment to all concerned. This fairly swift follow up is pretty much more of the same. A nicely produced collection of sunny side up guitar-led songs that are mainly low key. The title track has a big wave-a-long chorus which actually disrupts the mood a bit as I was really enjoying the understated pop of 'Solutions' with it's Love-ish chord progression. There are a couple of interludes with spoken word narration by Ian Rankin which don't really fit the flow of the album and seem more a device to shoehorn Rankin onto the album more than anything else.
Otherwise it's a collection of moderate pop that holds its own. There seems to be an electronic feel to the beats on some of the later tracks which is an ill fit if understandable following the death of drummer Jon Brookes. 'Over Again' is a particular dad dance - an attempt to be funky which falls flat on it's arse and 'The Same House' is just a solid gold shocker.
They are best just being the Charlatans but...um less so. The opening handful of tracks and lovely wistful closer 'Spinning Out' will be enough to keep fans happy but really the album should have had some of the middle flab cut out.
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