Charlatans - Simpatico

Somewhat of a pipe-and-slippers album for every brit-indie graduand's 5th favourite band.

Album Review by Jon Seller | 16 Apr 2006
Album title: Simpatico
Artist: Charlatans
Label: Sanctuary
Survivors of Manchester's baggier halcyon days and every brit-indie graduand's 5th favourite band, the Charlatans release their 9th long-player amidst a musical climate that has been subject to some severe global warming since the band's mid-nineties pomp. Whether the're cutting edge or innovative would appear to be of little relevance as Tim Burgess' crew of security guard and trendy dad look-alikes continue to remain faithful to their piano-driven, guitar-rock ethos. 'Simpatico' sees Burgess' ever-improving vocals take centre stage again, this time without the past falsetto illusions. The trademarks are evident throughout, although a nod to reggae and ska influences is notable on a number of tracks, especially on the strikingly Marely-esque City of the Dead, while The Architect oozes with Specials eeriness. First single Blackened Blue Eyes is a fair effort, although For Your Entertainment would have made a more obvious choice.

This album would appear to be something of a pipe-and-slippers foray for the Charlatans, reinforcing feelings of contentment with their role in the music world. Their popularity is proven in their longevity, whilst their relaxed touring schedules and Tim Burgess' West coast solo flirtations further prove comfort in their creative surroundings. This sentiment of course results in an album that pushes no boundaries, instead giving the impression of a band beyond taking risks. Hardcore fans will be happy enough with 'Simpatico', although without a great amount of appeal to the rest of us perhaps this is the ultimate risk. [Jon Seller]
Simpatico' is out on April 17.
Charlatans play Glasgow Barrowlands on the April 25 and Edinburgh Corn Exchange on the 26th.