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Charlatans - Simpatico

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 19 / 6 / 2006

Charlatans - Simpatico
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Diverse new offering from one time Madchester/Brit-pop indie legends, the Charlatans

'Simpatico' is the latest album from British indie legends, the Charlatans. The Charlatans were one of the main bands in the “Madchester”/Brit-pop scene, but now here’s the kicker. I have never owned, listened to or particular known any of the Charlatans' previous albums. They were just a band I had, in hindsight rather stupidly, lumped into being “just another indie band who look a bit like the Stone Roses and Oasis.” Upon hearing 'Simpatico' my views on the Charlatans were completely shattered. What I found here was a fantastic album which shows far more depth than they gain credit for. It kicks off with 'Blackened Blue Eyes'. I was shocked at how catchy yet intense this song was. The other songs not only lived up to the first song, but were even better. 'Blackened Blue Eyes' is one of the best opening tracks to an album I’ve heard in recent years with a piano tune running along throughout the song giving it a real upbeat feel, which is a strange thing in a song about wife beating, but they pull it off. 'NYC (There’s No Need to Stop)' is an insanely infectious tune that screams "Lead single", and quite rightly so is the lead single. It’s funky and really makes you want to dance around wherever you are. You can shut your eyes and picture being in a trendy club listening to it. The most surprising thing about this album for me was how varied the music was. I genuinely was expecting some straight forward acoustic half paced rock songs, but was bowled over by elements of funk, old punk rock, ska and just good, good songs. The songs brought thoughts of such bands as the Specials and the Clash in songs like 'City of the Dead' and 'For Your Entertainment'. There is not a Gallagher brother similarity in sight here. This was a huge but very welcome surprise for me. I hope that The Charlatans gain the recognition they deserve for this effort 17 years after their first album came out. They are still playing and producing quality songs instead of merely relying on their reputation.

Track Listing:-
1 Blackened Blue Eyes
2 NYC (There's No Need to Stop)
3 For Your Entertainment
4 Dead Man's Eyes
5 Muddy Ground
6 City of the Dead
7 Road to Paradise
8 When the Lights Go Out In London
9 The Architect
10 Glory Glory
11 Sunset & Vine

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