Despite being initially consigned to also-ran status during the apex of early ’90s Madchester, The Charlatans’ dogged persistence over the years has served them well. What’s more, the band have made a giant leap forward stylistically with ‘Modern Nature’.

Opener ‘Talking In Tones’ melds past and present triumphantly: while representing a new trajectory for The Charlatans, the distinctive organ sound and baggy rhythm, however subtle, affirms that they’ve not strayed too far from their hedonistic tendencies, while its cyclical guitar riff and Burgess’ hushed and stoic vocal harmonies introduce a more languid, haunting aesthetic.

Elsewhere, delightful tricks are aplenty, and especially the strings on the infallible, soul-inspirited ‘Keep It Up’ add introspective warmth. It’s not without its relative flaws (‘Let The Good Times Be Never-ending’’s effusive disco cheese is a little out of place here, and consequently sounds dated), but, essentially, ‘Modern Nature’ is fragile, danceable and never void of idiosyncrasies. Jon Brookes would be proud.


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