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Live It Like You Love It

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Album Review

Recorded at the Manchester Evening News Arena in December 2001, Live It Like You Love It sees the Charlatans UK not quite living up to the mantra that is this live album's title. Over the course of the first ten tracks, Tim Burgess offers up some truly weak vocals, his voice lacking any passion, as he accidentally goes in and out of falsetto and hits a myriad of sour notes. While his bandmates are generally in better form, it would be a stretch to call their playing tight and impassioned. Even when Manchester guitar god Johnny Marr appears deus ex machina to help out on "Weirdo," the band plays well below its abilities as represented on many superb albums. Burgess and company steer through their key singles and standouts, tackling five songs from Wonderland, four from Tellin' Stories, two from Us and Us Only and Some Friendly, and one from Between 10th and 11th. Surely a peek at the set list would show a rendition of "Can't Get Out of Bed" from Up to Our Hips or any track at all from their self-titled rebirth album, but no. All this being said, for the encore of the final four songs, Burgess emerges revitalized, all the other players attack their instruments, and energy bursts forth from where none previously existed. How strange that extended versions of "Forever" and "Sproston Green" rock the hardest, their vibes perfectly aligned. Still, the finale isn't enough to recommend Live It Like You Love It, and fans who've enjoyed them live might wonder if this set was just a bad showing, or if a recording just can't convey the band's live, psychedelic party atmosphere. This being said, fans would do well to investigate every studio effort before treading into this murky and uneven affair.


Formed: 1989 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

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

No relation to the British alternative rock band of the same name, the San Francisco-based Charlatans have been widely credited as starting the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic scene. In retrospect, their contribution was more of a social one, planting seeds of a rock counterculture with their unconventional, at times outrageous dress and attitudes. While they occasionally delved into guitar distortion and fractured, stoned songwriting, the Charlatans' music was rooted in good-time jug band blues, not...
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Live It Like You Love It, The Charlatans
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