Simpatico

Studio Album by released in 2006
Simpatico's tracklist:
Blackened Blue Eyes
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N.Y.C. (There's No Need To Stop)
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For Your Entertainment
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Dead Man's Eye
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Muddy Ground
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City of the Dead
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Road to Paradise
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When the Lights Go Out in London
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The Architect
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Glory Glory
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Sunset & Vine
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Simpatico review

One of the great British bands of the past two decades

Mancunian indie legends the Charlatans (add "UK," if you're from the States) have been through more dramas than the average soap opera over their 20 years, whether it be death, cancer, nervous breakdowns, jail sentences, yet have stayed one of the most consistent bands in the country. One secret to their success is the fact that their music is constantly evolving and surprising. The Charlatans could teach most Britpop bands a thing or two about staying power - Simpatico is their ninth studio album. One of the great British bands of the past two decades, this album marks yet another chapter in the band's remarkable career, and listeners will be pleased to find that the band has refused to rest on their laurels, pushing the envelope once again and experimenting with their trademark sound without losing their core appeal. Here they have swapped their traditional Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones and Curtis Mayfield influences for Bob Marley, The Specials and The Clash (London Calling era) to create an album that even includes a dub-reggae instrumental. Although the ska, dub and reggae influences are to the fore the melodies still shine through, this is unmistakably the Charlatans.

Blackened Blue Eyes is arguably one of the Charlatans’ best singles

Opening with the marvelous, up-tempo single v, the album settles into its stride with the thumping bass and slick lyrics of NYC (There's No Need To Stop). Blackened Blue Eyes is everything one could want from the Mancunian quintet, in what is arguably one of their best singles in more than a decade. It is a piece of funked up rock’n’roll carried on a hypnotic piano riff and interjected with chiming guitars. And NYC (There’s No Need To Stop) is a party anthem that captures the spirit of urban nightlife with its hollering backing vocals and siren noises. The Killers-esque When The Lights Go Out In London is an infectious slice of dancefloor-filling rock while Muddy Ground is a retrospective musical glance at their past career. It manages to be a fantastically uplifting track due to hovering layers of piano over a solid bass. Ska-heavy track The Architect is an odd coupling of calypso rhythms and Burgess' dark lyrics that somehow works, while instrumental album closer Sunset & Vines is a magical, twinkling, dusk-at-the-festival tune that could make this a summer soundtrack.

The Charlatans are entering a new phase of their career

The Charlatans are one of those bands that slip beneath the radar every once in a while, through no fault of their own. With Simpatico, though, the radar blip is deafening. Simpatico finds the Charlatans feeling better and fresher than ever, and ready to take on the world again. It’s a record, in short, that sees every member of the Charlatans step up to the plate and give it everything. The Charlatans are entering a new phase of their career, off the leash and ready for the future. How listeners will react to the Charlatans’ experimentation is to be seen, but it’s credit to the band that they are willing to try something different and add to their repertoire – and it is this characteristic that has enabled them to maintain their popularity. It is certainly strange hearing the Charlatans going dub. Even more bizarre is they seem to be doing it well. If you are expecting to hear the same old Charlatans you’ll be in for a shock, if you give it a chance you will be pleasantly surprised. This is an album for sunny days, just make sure to play it loud!