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Between 10th and 11th

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Album Review

A few songs aside, the Charlatans generally regard this release as their least successful album, considering it was recorded at a personal and professional crossroads (Baker's departure, Rob Collins' conviction, and so forth). Criticism within and without settled on Flood's production style as well, his crisp, technically sharp abilities seem to go against the band's natural flow. In hindsight, though, Between is much stronger than its reputation, with many fans proclaiming it their favorite. It's partly due to Burgess' more up-front vocals — his singing is still some of the calmest one will ever hear at the front of such a band, but his performance maintains Some Friendly's loose flow while sounding more compelling. Similarly, Blunt's bass sounds stronger and Rob Collins' keyboards stand out more, either shading or leading the songs perfectly. "Weirdo," the album's lead single and strongest point, has a brilliant lead organ break from Collins and series of great funk stabs that became his strongest performance ever. Equally fine is the electric piano start to "Tremolo Song," leading to a deep Blunt bass and sassy flow of a song. Brookes and Mark Collins also fill out their parts equally well, with Flood's production strengthening and creating excellent arrangements for everyone as a whole. His numerous touches are really something, from the sudden shift to buried/flanged production on "Ignition" to "Subtitle"'s atmospheric mixing and burbling bass. Other highlights include the string-laden charge of "Can't Even Be Bothered" and the concluding "No One (Not Even the Rain)."

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For many years, the Charlatans UK were perceived as the also-rans of Madchester, the group that didn't capture the Zeitgeist like the Stone Roses or the band that failed to match the mad genre-bending of the Happy Mondays. Of course, they were more traditional than either of their peers. Working from a Stonesy foundation, the Charlatans added dance-oriented rhythms and layers of swirling organs straight out of '60s psychedelia. At first, the Charlatans had great promise, and their initial singles...
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