The Charlatans - Us And Us Only

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1999-10-19

Formed at the tail end of the Manchester baggy scene, the Charlatans have come a long way to shake their "also-rans" tag. While Manc demigods The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays self-destructed under the sheer weight of their own hubris, their peers the Charlatans soldiered on and, before anyone could say "our kid", released a number of massive hits. With their sixth album, Us And Us Only, the Charlatans continue mining this vein and--with a career that's seen each album surpass the previous--outdo their previous album. Us And Us Only is a corker, a swirling mixture of rock & roll and psychedelia, equal parts Primal Scream and the Rolling Stones. From epic, organ-led opener "Forever" to the strum-and-harmonica of the Bob Dylan-cribbed "Impossible", the Charlatans again wear their influences with pride. Sure it's derivative but so what? Their sources are impeccable and their passion and spirit is unmistakable. --Robert Burrow

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