Album Review: The Charlatans – Different Days

By Brogan McKeown (Link 2 Site)

Different Days by The Charlatans is a musical treat that is bound to make you wish you were abroad with a cold beer in hand with the sun beating down on you. The album really is a zesty flow of sounds, many with an almost soothing melody- bound to be very pleasing to your ears.

This is the band’s 13th studio album and is a sequel to their previous album, Modern Nature. 13 is said to be an unlucky number, but not for The Charlatans. The album was self-produced in the band’s studio in Crewe, an English town and is full of famous names which is enough to get everyone waiting in anticipation for its release including Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, and Kurt Wagner, pretty much making any fan of music screech in glee.

Still going strong, and with the resurgence of 90s music, the band has really captured the hearts of their die hard fans and news ones alike. Different Days is like stepping into a time machine. A particular highlight has to be the eponymous track Different Days which is full to the brim with character. While the track bares a lot of pressure considering its self-titled nature, it manages to wonderfully set the tone for the album very early on and with an appearance from Johnny Marr, a guitar playing icon, it’s no surprise to have such a powerful rock sound fuelling every second of the track

Two tracks later, The Charlatans show they’re still capable of giving off major 90s vibes on Plastic Machinery. The song breeds an almost dream-like sound transporting you to a different place as your ears take it all in. With lines like “our love is just like a dream to me” the euphoria is projected and the song becomes very catchy, very quickly. Groovy and psychedelic, it makes for some easy listening though that should not be viewed as an insult. While they’ve been around for a long time, The Charlatans still show no sign of fatigue as Plastic Machinery is so appealing and so revivifying that it will remind you of why love this band in the first place.

Over Again is a track with a  lot of different sounds going on. When the song starts, straight away, you’re taken back to the 90s with the familiar sounding electronic drum heard in many club songs during that period. Then the song goes into a more wavy, indie sound as lead singer, Tim Burgess, begins to sing with a jumpy melody that soon goes into short guitar strums as the song picks up right before the chorus. As the chorus begins, the music quickly turns into an 80s synth pop sound which is so pleasing that it is hard not to love this song. While the abundance of different sounds on display would have you worried that it would be over encumbered, this track manages to shake off any doubts and will have you listening to it, well, over and over again.

Image result for the charlatans 2017

Considering it’s a title you wouldn’t be surprised to hear in that decade, Spinning Out is unapologetically 90s: despite starting off with a classic piano, the track breaks out into an unapologetic ballad that portrays the longing of its protagonist. “Trying to get back there again with you” is one to fill you with nostalgia and one to relate to also. Like many of the lyrics in this album, this one has been used to evoke a feeling and to stand out in your brain.

Interestingly, the song features icon, Paul Weller, and is another song on the album that takes the band away from their comfort zone. However, this does not fail them as it is a great piece of music. Weller and The Charlatans may have seemed like an unlikely duo but the song is unlikely to disappoint.

The Charlatans have brought something to this album that many artists fail to do and that’s really engaging with their fans and providing them with something new but also something very true to their sound. The album features many different sounds from decades before it; the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s with the 90s being the most prominent influence. Different Days is so refreshing and this really is incredible for a band that has been in the industry for so long. The Charlatans prove it’s possible to keep on producing such fantastic albums; an art which you just cannot lose. With incredible melodies, synth, and guitar- the album is a groovy cocktail for your ears to get drunk on.

If you’re looking for an exhilarating trip back to the 90s. Listen no further.

9/10


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