on 15 June 2009
After 25 years Charlie return with their new album.
Originally recorded as a Terry Thomas solo album, it features Julian Colbeck and Martin Smith over 3 tracks, hence the use of the Charlie name.
Sound wise, the music is instantly recognisable as Charlie, not surprising
seeing as Terry composed all tracks and handles all vocals.
Terry also brings his considerable experience in production techniques
(producing Bad Company and Foreigner amongst others) to produce a well rounded sound. He has also drawn upon updated sounds and this leads to a far heavier sound than Charlie of old (a couple of tracks would not be out of place on the new Porcupine Tree album). No bad thing as it is progression whilst retaining the original Charlie values.
Charlie in the 70's were an enigma. They were a band out of time as Terry
alluded to in a recent interview with the Yahoo discussion group
(itsinevitable), when he stated the punk explosion was a reason for lack of touring success in the UK. Too early too be taken seriously due to Punk and too late for the success that would have followed when the likes of Dire Straits were popular. They would have fitted in well then.
Lyrically, some tracks are a bit close to the knuckle bringing celebrities into the mix, for example, Popstar being based on Robbie Williams and another, Blue Sky Bullshit on the rhetoric of David Cameron.
Overall though it is good too see Terry's sense of humour, cynicism (reality and celebrity TV), and observations on life (greed, must have the latest technology, and on Don't Let Go (the closest track to the Charlie of old) relationships), always in evidence on Charlie albums, remains intact.
An album definitely worth checking out - 4 out of 5 I'd say.
on 4 March 2016
It's good to have Charlie back - and this really rocks! Their earlier stuff suffered from a kind of identity crisis stylistically but always featured the wonderful guitar work of Terry Thomas, who went on to produce Bad Co, Foreigner etc. The material here is a lot angrier than before, and some of it's almost punk in style, especially the lyrics, like S*** TV, Popstar, etc. Terry's social commentary is sorely needed today, when even many rock stars are not interested in speaking out - or just don't have anything to say. If that changes, it's thanks to Terry and co - but it might be asking too much...