Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Album Review - The Charlatans

The Charlatans – You Cross My Path
[XL Recordings; 12/05/2008]

The Charlatans have always possessed an edge. Love them or hate them, front man Tim Burgess has always wooed his followers with sophistication through his lyrical craft.
Despite The Charlatans’ cult following around the UK, the band is little known around other parts of the world; so much so that they fail to seize their own moniker in America (known as The Charlatans UK).

Although direct praise rarely goes their way, they hold a greater significance as apposed to a lot of their contemporaries who dabble in a similar vein, while their crowds vastly consist of people that have a bit more between the ears, as apposed to those who pamper fanatically to the beats of The Stone Roses or The Happy Mondays.

You Cross My Path is The Charlatans getting back to basics, but with the addition of a soundscape familiar to the modern day. ‘Oh Vanity’ possess the near exact rhythm section to that of Interpol’s ‘Not Even Jail’, while other parts of the album also hold questionable resemblance to bands The Charlatans have been listening to of late. 'The Misbegotten' the perfect evidence of this, despite its pulling power as a single.

After the 2006 reggae tinged Simpactio, it was always evident that The Charlatans would revert back to their old sounds with You Cross My Path. Still with the ability to pen a catchy single, and although many will be pleased that Tim Burgess and his mates are back rehashing old templates with the slight niggle of that 'modern' sound, it seems they've boarded along a near midlife crisis, which is binding evidence that their best work is a distance behind them.

By Simon K

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