Published Apr 17, 2015On the Charlatans' 12th album, Modern Nature, they've enlisted no fewer than three drummers — Pete Salisbury (the Verve), Stephen Morris (New Order) and Gabriel Gurnsey (Factory Floor) — to create a fluid release, a chilled-out, soulful take on the Charlatans' psychedelic sound complemented by muted horns and jazzy keys.
"Talking in Tones" sets the pace and overall vibe of the album, sneaking in smoothly and treading lightly. "Keep Enough" is equally suave, with its funk flow and injections of soaring strings bolstering lyrics like, "Feels like the start," "Remember where you were yesterday" and the uplifting refrain of "Keep it up." These references to the past all evoke the adversity the band have faced over their 25-year career: losing their keyboardist Rob Collins in 1996; lead singer Tim Burgess' battles with drug addiction; and, this time, having lost drummer Jon Brookes to brain cancer in 2013.
The way the vocals rise and fall on "Emilie" alongside plucked guitar strings recall Radiohead's In Rainbows, but it's "Need You to Know" that provides the album's highlight; its palpable sense of intrigue makes it sound like the theme to a James Bond film. (BMG Chrysalis)