The Charlatans – Us And Us Only [Deluxe Edition] (2011)

Posted by Green on September 21, 2022as

320 | FLAC

Us and Us Only picks up where Tellin’ Stories left off and twists that album’s virtues around. Where that record was essentially a stripped-down, straight-ahead collection, Us and Us Only dresses up the band’s continually impressive songcraft in a moody atmosphere, borrowed in equal parts from Blonde on Blonde, Beggars Banquet, and the Chemical Brothers. The album unfolds in a haze of keyboards and subdued beats, and this murky veil never really lifts throughout the record, even as harmonics and acoustic guitars break through the mist every once and a while. Consequently, the album can initially seem a little amorphous, albeit intriguingly amorphous, filled with deep grooves and tantalizing sonic textures. Repeated plays reveal that Us and Us Only is merely a step below their previous high point of Tellin’ Stories. If nothing is as immediately grabbing as “North Country Boy” or “One to Another,” that’s not a problem, since nearly every song works its charms with subtle grace and considerable muscle. “Forever” soon reveals itself as a minor masterpiece of swirling menace and swagger, while the Dylan inflections of “A House Is Not a Home” and “My Beautiful Friend” seem natural instead of grandstanding. Soon, it becomes apparent that, unlike most of their trad rock contemporaries, the Charlatans figured out how to make their music sound both timeless and modern by quietly adding influences and changing their attack each time around, while remaining true to their core sound, much like the Stones did in their prime. The Charlatans may not be as innovative or as song-oriented as the Stones, but after a decade of recording, they’re turning out to be nearly as consistent as the Stones were at the same point in their career, which is no small accomplishment.

1. Forever (Full Length Version) (7:25)
2. Good Witch, Bad Witch 1 (0:51)
3. Impossible (5:05)
4. The Blonde Waltz (4:34)
5. A House Is Not A Home (4:52)
6. Senses (4:46)
7. My Beautiful Friend (4:35)
8. I Don’t Care Where You Live (2:59)
9. The Blind Stagger (5:00)
10. Good Witch, Bad Witch 2 (3:25)
11. Watching You (5:38)
12. Good Witch, Bad Witch 3 (2:48)
13. My Beautiful Friend (Jagz Kooner Remix) (4:43)
14. My Beautiful Friend (Lionrock Mix – 103 BPM Vocal Mix) (5:04)
15. My Beautiful Friend (Lionrock Instrumental) (5:11)
16. Tony’s Bar & Grill (1:13)

1. Forever (Radio Edit) (5:01)
2. A Great Place To Leave (5:05)
3. When Your Ship Comes In (4:56)
4. Sleepy Little Sunshine Boy (4:42)
5. Scorched (4:45)
6. Your Precious Love (3:28)
7. Don’t Go Giving It Up (3:33)
8. You Got It, I Want It (4:03)
9. Impossible (Mark Radcliffe 15/10/99) (5:02)
10. Senses (Evening Session Oct 99) (4:49)
11. My Beautiful Friend (Evening Session Oct 99) (4:42)
12. The Blind Stagger (Evening Session Oct 99) (4:31)
13. Forever (Live Reading Festival 28/08/99) (7:19)
14. Senses (Live Reading Festival 28/08/99) (4:53)
15. A House Is Not A Home (Later With Jools Holland 23/10/99) (5:03)

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