The indestructible four-piece remain defiantly upbeat on their 13th album.
THE ALBUM’S MESSAGE IS CLEAR: CHOOSE FRIENDSHIP OVER BIGOTRY, ISOLATIONSIM AND MONETARIST LUNACY.
THE CHARLATANS DIFFERENT DAYS BMG, OUT 26 MAY
A golden future might not have been readily predicted during The Charlatans’ drug-hoovering mid-’ 90s pomp, as gruellingly chronicled in the “cocainus” passages of frontman Tim Burgess’s autobiography. Yet, this indestructible combo have shrugged off hedonism and bereavement to deliver, uniquely among their baggy/Britpop peers, an uninterrupted sequence of top-rate albums, which have continued to expand both their creative parameters and their fanbase. If Different Days feels remarkably fresh, contemporary and upbeat for a band’s 13th studio album, it’s all about The Charlatans getting on the good foot in response to Trump and Brexit. To that end, they convened a stellar cast of amigos including Johnny Marr, Paul Weller and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, with a clear, implicit message: choose friendship over bigotry, isolationism and monetarist lunacy. The three Marr tracks are particularly fantastic: on Plastic Machinery, the currently postpunk-fixated ex-Smiths guitarist even revisits the disco-fied majesty of his Electronic years.
The key collaborator, though, is New Order’s Stephen Morris, whose synth/programming wizardry across seven tracks helps perfect a hi-tech strand to a Charlatans sound initiated on 2008’ s You Cross My Path. Different Days, though, is emphatically their own album: the whole guest thing is inclusive, not intrusive. Burgess is on fire, saluting the day on Hey Sunrise, offering Zen wisdom on There Will Be Chances, even leading an Italia ’ 90 dancefloor charge on piano-pounding The Same House. As Spinning Out, the Weller co-write, exquisitely closes proceedings in the vein of blissedout ’ 70s Chicago soul, this wondrous record feels every inch the cultural shot in the arm that all left-leaning altrockers desperately need just now. HHHH Listen To: Different Days | Plastic Machinery | The Same House
The Charlatans: “expanding both their creative parameters and their fanbase.”