"Jon was adamant that there was going to be another Charlatans record, and you have to put that into your own thoughts." (Tony Rogers, The Charlatans)
Die Kritiken sind bisher durch die Bank sehr positiv, jedoch hält sich meine Begeisterung in Grenzen. An die sechs Alben aus den 90er Jahren reicht "Modern Nature" natürlich nicht heran, im Vergleich zu den übrigen Platten schneidet es aber sicherlich besser ab als "Wonderland" (2001) und "Simpatico" (2006) oder die Soloalben von Tim Burgess. Dürfte ich mir eine Wunschsetliste für ein Konzert der Charlatans auswählen, so wären, wenn ich jedes Album berücksichtigen müsste, "So Oh", "Come Home Baby" und "Let The Good Times Be Never Ending" meine Kandidaten von "Modern Nature".
Opener Talking in Tones has a Higher Than the Sun comedown vibe that feels more about the price paid for happiness than hedonism itself, but by the second track, So Oh, they start to come good on their upbeat promise. Backed by a bouncing bassline and Hammond organ, it’s more west coast than Black Country, and that warmth continues throughout. Rhodes piano tones and more organs accompany Come Home Baby, which is followed by Keep Enough, a glorious lament for an absent friend. Let the Good Times Be Never Ending, perhaps the strongest track, mixes slow-building Doorsian exposition with 5th Dimension-style wig outs and backing vocals. From the saddest of starting points, the Charlatans have made a joyful eulogy – and possibly the best album of their career.
Reuniting in a Cheshire studio six months after Brookes’s death, they decided to respond to their loss with an “uplifting,” “soulful” record. They’ve succeeded. Deeply infused with rich, subtle hooks, Modern Nature is a patient album that warms the bones with a steady fusion of mid-tempo Curtis Mayfield soul (muzzy organ, bongos and funk guitar), with memories of Madchester club nights (baggy beats, chunky chords, shoegazer vocals) and tasteful string arrangements.
A Zen glow rises like the sun through the standout tracks Talk in Tones, So Oh and Keep Enough. Members of New Order and the Verve sat at the drums while the still boyish Burgess sings sweetly and murmurs of strengthening presences and deepening affections. Since kicking drugs in 2006, he says meditation has given him a sense of “consistency and fire”, qualities he shares with this classy and consoling record.