English indie rockers The Charlatans are back with new album Different Days, and it’s a testament to the band’s legacy that they’re still going strong after all these years.
By Jane Howkins
The Charlatans first started out as a band in 1988, and despite a few hiccups along the way, have managed to stay fairly regular with their album releases, with Different Days showing that they still have plenty of good songs waiting for release within them.
As always, the tracks have a melancholic bent to them, but there is a twinge of hope, with a particularly bittersweet note present within final track Spinning Out. Frontman Tim Burgess’ honey-laced vocals caress the instrumentation, with his smooth melodies providing the perfect sound to wind down to after a long working day. There’s nothing massively different to what the band have done before, but then, there doesn’t really need to be, as they’re still managing to crank out epic tunes, all the while adding a little something different.
Contributors to the album include author Ian Rankin, Paul Weller, and Johnny Marr, and whilst some of those may seem rather random selections for The Charlatans to have picked, it all works surprisingly well. They clearly know what they’re doing and have some scope of what they want to achieve, showing that they’re not just another legacy band, going through the motions and resting on the laurels of previous years.
Different Days is a great album for The Charlatans, showing them near their best. There’s nothing too game changing here (although that final track is particularly beautiful), but it’s a perfectly adequate record, showing that the band should be around for plenty of years to come yet.