It’s been a very tough couple of decades for The Charlatans. Two albums written and dedicated for lost members of the band, keyboardist Rob Collins and more recently the tragic death of Jon Brookes, a revolutionary drummer in his own category. Despite that, they remain together after twenty-seven years in which they have created some superb records that are still popular today.
Talking In Tones feels electronically groovy. Drum machine beats and Burgess’ synthesised vocals reverberate from left to right which builds up into a masterful techno ballad. Come Home Baby features a lot of disco elements. The synth lead rhythm and Tim’s harmonics create this 70’s vibe which is partnered with a brooding chorus that crashes drums and guitar riffs together gloriously. By the end of this, Burgess is preaching with the backing singers “I can’t wait!”. Lean In returns back to the feel of their 90’s records an era that was dominated by BritPop and this shines with that very element. It’s bold and catchy, even single worthy with a number of radio plays on 6Music and XFM.
Lead single So Oh starts beautifully with a distorted chord structure and is futuristically upbeat, similar to this is Let The Good Times Be Never Ending which (is a fitting ode to Jon) pops along with a lot of sounds from seventh album Wonderland and plenty of soulful percussion. There are songs that feel fresh and in a new direction too; Trouble Understanding is inventive with a striking piano line that pairs with a galactic guitar part and In The Tall Grass is a slower number with plenty of keyboard solos that ooze soul influences.
Modern Nature is a well crafted record. It consists of many familiar Charlatans components that are always expertly crafted by Burgess and co. This record looks to the future in many ways; seeking the challenge of new ways of production, a more synth heavy sound and even a few more instrumental moments. After a five year gap, it’s great to have another Charlatans record.
Written by Declan Roberts (@declanmr)