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19 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It grows....and grows
I have to say when I first heard the album and saw the band live I though - Dammit! The Charlatans have hopped on the Ordinary Boys trailer. Tim Burgess turning into Preston!?!! Jeez!

However, I persevered after being a Charlatans fan for over 12 years now and it really has grown on me and I'm impressed. Not sure about the UB40 mention earlier in the review...
Published on 9 Nov 2006 by S. Bobby

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg
Sixteen years as a band and with nine studio albums completed, The Charlatans have found themselves in the challenging territory on their latter albums of needing to innovate or die. This requirement has been more successful on certain albums (e.g. "Wonderland") than on others (e.g. "Up at the Lake").

One game that has been played with these latter albums has...
Published on 17 July 2007 by Amazon Customer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It grows....and grows, 9 Nov 2006
By 
S. Bobby "sizzle69" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
I have to say when I first heard the album and saw the band live I though - Dammit! The Charlatans have hopped on the Ordinary Boys trailer. Tim Burgess turning into Preston!?!! Jeez!

However, I persevered after being a Charlatans fan for over 12 years now and it really has grown on me and I'm impressed. Not sure about the UB40 mention earlier in the review list - I would say there's a more Clash/Specials influence shouting out and City of the Dead is a pure example of the way that The Charlatans pay homage to their influences. I found Up At The Lake a poor effort but this is back on track and may rival Up To Our Hips or Us and Us Only. A highly respectable band that has strived to become something unique for years - AND stop the comparisons between Stone Roses and Insprial Carpets.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's proper Bo I tell thee, 22 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
The first two tracks are the charlatans as we know them and at their best. From then on it's all change as the 'tans add reggae to their repetoire of styles. You'll either love it or laugh at it, i loved it more than my own mother. Is there no end to these boys talents? It might take a few listens to get used to but it'll be worth it. It's truely unique and truely charlatans. Get it bought.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpatico the best, 29 April 2006
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
This is very much a classic charlatans album,gels alot better than "up at the lake" with a feast of top tunes e.g "blackened blue eyes","muddy ground","road to paradise",(my fav)"the architect"and in my veiw the next single"dead mans eyes"

I have not stopped playing this album since i bought it and it stands up with anything they've done before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new direction., 29 April 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
Nine albums in and The Charlatans are still going strong. They may be past their very best (1995-97) but they can be relied upon to produce solid albums and remain one of the UK's finest live acts. Simpatico has received mixed reviews and this is mainly due to the change in sound apparent on much of the album. The band have once again been experimenting and many of the tracks have a dub/ska feel to them which at first listen seems a little out of place for our beloved Indie boys. A few plays later and all is well once again. Songs such as "Muddy Ground" prove that the Charlatans can pull off this new sound. However it is the opener "Blackened Blue Eyes" which is the stand out tune on the album. It is up there with the best of the band's singles and is vintage Charlies - dub free and with plenty of chiming guitar and keyboard. Other highlights include NYC which has become a live favourite, For Your Entertainment and the sweet Glory Glory. As mentioned below there is unfortunately also "City of the Dead" which has to be the worst Charlies' track ever. It sounds a little UB40 and a lot naff. It took a while to work to work its magic but Simpatico has won me over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg, 17 July 2007
By 
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
Sixteen years as a band and with nine studio albums completed, The Charlatans have found themselves in the challenging territory on their latter albums of needing to innovate or die. This requirement has been more successful on certain albums (e.g. "Wonderland") than on others (e.g. "Up at the Lake").

One game that has been played with these latter albums has been "spot the influences" - from Bob Dylan to Curtis Mayfield. Indeed, the band themselves namecheck The Clash and LCD Soundsystem as being inspirational bands for this album. However, any fan of The Specials will also instantly recognise their ska sound on "City of the Dead".

Overall, the album is a mix of sounds and themes. The classic Charlatans sound is there on tracks such as "Blackened Blue Eyes", "Architect" and the instrumental "Sunset and Vine". Also well worth checking out are "For Your Entertainment" and "Muddy Ground", both of which are dark but mellow songs.

There are also two thematically different songs dedicated to New York and London. The first - "NYC (No Need to Stop)" - is a celebration of the energy of that city. Its catchy enough, if not particularly memorable. The other - "When the Lights Go Out in London" - is far more downbeat and follows the terrorist bombings in the city in 2005.

Less successful are "Dead Man's Eye" "City of the Dead", and "Glory Glory", which do reduce the overall quality of the album.

In all, well worth buying as a Charlatans fan, which I definitely am. However, its not their best work. Try "Tellin' Stories" or "Us and Us Only" instead if you are new to the band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go on, give it a go!, 10 Jan 2007
By 
T. SMEDLEY "terrysmedley" (Taunton UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
I made the mistake of reading the reviews or this album, rather than just buying it, which is what I've done with all the Charlatan's previous releases. It's fair to say that as a band they have always attracted 'mixed reviews', but this album seems to have received a particular mauling!

As below, it was heavilly criticised for having a reggae feel to some of the tracks, which I think is incorrect. Ska would be a lot more accurate, a few songs have something of The Specials, Madness, etc. about them, but still sound like the Charlatans, unlike lesser bands such as the Ordinary Boys and to a lesser degree Hard-Fi, who just sound like these bands!

The album probaly opens with one of the best tracks and lead single, Blackened Blue Eyes and moves on through songs, some of which are reminiscent of the last few albums, Up At The Lake and Wonderland in particular and some in the new style, as described above.

Highlights for me include For Your Entertainment, Muddy Ground, The Architect and the instrumental album closer Sunset And Vine, but the whole album flows well, which demands repeated listening and the 45 mins are up fairly quickly, it feels.

Overall then, another fresh, consistent album from one of the best bands, if not the most uner-rated, of the 90's and onwards. For those more open-minded individuals, I'd also recommend checking out Tim Burgess' solo album, I Beleive, traces of which can be heard in this album and to a greater degree, Up At The Lake, it's really quite excellent...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ALBUM !!!, 13 April 2006
By 
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
This album is a great collection of great songs, I loved it since the first listens. True that the reggae songs are a surprise after so many years but they are just wonderful. Buy this album, make these guys become true superstars.

Best regards

Dj
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars variation is good, 9 Feb 2007
By 
Nilez (Maastricht, NL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
The Charlatans have always been one of my favourite bands, despite them being relatively unknown in the Netherlands ("The Only One I Know" appears to be a fitting title in that respect, unfortunately). What I like about the band is its versatility, not unlike "classic" artists such as Beatles, Stones and Bob Dylan, and -more recently- Blur. Too bad then that some reviewers dismiss Wonderland and Simpatico for being too different from the Charlies' early work. I, for one, like both albums. In fact, Wonderland is one of my favourites, probably just after the magnificent 1995 album "The Charlatans".

What about Simpatico then, and its supposed ska/reggae influences? Yes, these influences are there and on quite a lot of tracks actually (around two-thirds), but always with that classic Charlatans touch to it. For Your Entertainment, one of those ska/reggae tracks, is even one of my favourites of the album. Another favourite is Muddy Ground. The only track that does not work for me is Dead Man's Eye: I guess I don't like the repetitiveness and the whiney vocals in the verses of that one... All other songs are great though. Other highlights include the somewhat faster and more traditional sounding Blackened Blue Eyes, (which seems to be well-known in the UK already) and the funny/funky NYC (which we shouldn't take too seriously I guess, but just enjoy).

So IMHO Simpatico is a very nice addition to the Charlies' oeuvre. Who wants a Tellin' Stories part II, or The Charlatans 1995 Part II, anyway? I love those albums, but I already own them. Simpatico may not be their best, but it is definitely highly enjoyable. I hope the band will continue to surprise me again with their next - and no doubt excellent - release.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simpatico, 24 April 2006
By 
Pd Baker - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Simpatico (Audio CD)
The Charlatans have always had great music collections and this really shows on the new album. If previous records showed a love of Dylan, Curtis Mayfield and the 60s nuggets collection then this is a homage to mid-70s Stones, Trojan records and the Specials. In typical style there are some great singles on the record with NYC (there's no need to stop) surely the next on the list.

The Charlatans keep fans interested by changing styles but retaining their great hammond driven sound. This is not their best record, but it is worthy of being amongst them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers!, 16 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Simpatico [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Love vinyl and this is an excellent addition to my collection will keep looking for more new records as you are quite cheap
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