Words by Russell Carstens

Are The Charlatans having an identity crisis? With their new album, Modern Nature, the band seems to cram too many different styles inside a collection of drawn out songs.

While most of their good material is spent on choruses, Modern Nature still has some redeeming moments. “Talking In Tones” starts the album on a druggy, mellow Spiritualized vibe with a crescendo of good feelings building via an uplifting chorus. “Good Times” is a jubilant dance song with hints of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. A beautiful atmosphere of drum machines, synths and acoustic guitars dominates “So Oh,” providing an oceanic sound to get lost in, with old-school 808-sounding claps put to good use. “Keep Enough” is a sneaky and sly improvement, while “Need You To Know” is dramatic hard rock with a muted violin melody keeping the ears interested. A beautiful (but too short) guitar passage lights up the middle of “Emilie,” as well.

The Charlatans are not making rock, indie, electronic or dance music on Modern Nature — they’re just trying to put ten pounds of stuff into a five pound bag.

The Charlatans
‘Modern Nature’
BMG Chrysalis
© April 21st, 2015



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