September 27, 2001

Test Spins: Charlatans UK

Print More

The Charlatans have been entertaining audiences for over a decade with their unique Britpop. On Wonderland, the band blends their characteristic guitar-driven melodies with soulful vocals, creating a full-bodied sound.

“Love is the Key” channels the spirit of the Stones, with Keith Richards-esque riffs and a gutsy performance by singer Tim Burgess. “I Just Can’t Get Over Losing You” feels like another updated classic with bluesy vocals set to a backdrop of churning guitars.

On some of Wonderland’s stronger cuts, the Charlatans fight back against their tendency to be pigeonholed as followers of classic rock acts. “A Man Needs to Be Told” is a mellow, sensitive song, while “And If I Fall” relies on something suspiciously close to a dance beat. The Charlatans continue to display their musical range on the celebratory “Ballad of the Band,” on which Burgess urges, “Keep on listening/ and you will find your beat.” The Charlatans have found theirs: Wonderland allows the group to re-invent themselves.

Archived article by Jennifer Gardner