The Charlatans

Modern Nature

Written by: PP on 01/09/2015 18:44:37

Indie rock veterans will surely recognize the name The Charlatans, who have reached 12th studio album with "Modern Nature", their first release in five years. The British group had their breakthrough already back in 1994 with their third record "Up To Our Hips", and have since then steadily released fairly typically British indie rock records every couple of years. In other words, their similarity to bands like Oasis and Blur is uncanny at times, even if "Modern Nature" overall is a darker and more somber release than the upbeat, stadium-friendly material of either two.

Indeed, if there's something "Modern Nature" can be characterized by, it is by its moods. The majority of the record draws parallels to 80s darkwave thanks to a persistent dimly lit soundscape that places introspection and classic British rock star arrogance in the spotlight. "In The Tall Grass" is perhaps the best example of the latter, whereas its predecessor "Keep Enough" opens with brighter guitar strumming, smooth bass lines and soft plucking accompanying vocalist Tim Burgess' soothing pipes. Hammond organ is used extensively as a mood-creating instrument and to give the soundscape some extra dimension, much like on other Charlatans albums. Otherwise, the songs range from the somber tone of "Talking In Tones" to the more upbeat and pop-driven approach of "Come Home Baby", whose ringing guitars highlight perfectly the appeal of Brit rock in general. Here, echoes of Oasis and Blur certainly come to mind, despite its gospel-inspired backing vocals.

As you traverse through the eleven tracks of "Modern Nature" it becomes clear that pretty much all tracks are enjoyable, even if they stubbornly follow the Brit rock induced indie rock format without much deviation. Still, eleven album's worth of experience manifests in solid indie rock tunes overall that are of the quieter and less poppy sort than many of their headline-grabbing peers in the UK.


Download: So Oh, Come Home Baby, Keep Enough, In The Tall Grass
For the fans of: The Stone Roses, The Bluetones, Radiohead, Oasis, The Cure
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Release date 26.01.2015

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