Veteran British band The Charlatans emerged from the Manchester (aka Madchester) music scene more than a quarter century ago and are still going strong. While they never earned the breathless adulation of contemporaries like The Stone Roses, they deserve credit for continuing on despite some tragedy.
Keyboardist Rob Collins died when The Charlatans were recording their 1997 masterpiece “Tellin’ Stories” and founding member/drummer Jon Brookes lost a lengthy battle with brain cancer last year. As ever, the band pressed on and 12th full-length “Modern Nature” shows they still have plenty of gas left in the tank.
There’s a soulful groove working its way through the 11-track, 47-minute platter and that makes for their most consistent enjoyable album in almost a decade. “Talking in Tones” is the ideal opener and The Charlatans later impress with “Come Home Baby,” “Keep Enough,” “Let the Good Times Be Never Ending” and “Trouble Understanding.” Brookes would be proud of what his longtime bandmates have accomplished with “Modern Nature.” (Jeffrey Sisk)