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on 18 January 2001
Hard to fault this album from start to finish, no weak links song wise certainly. From the very first second when we have a great build-in to the album, you know you are in for a fast, whirling, spin through the land that is Manchester Indie. ALL the songs are excellent, though those released from it certainly rank at the very top. It is also a great album because they kept their roots alive and showed how far you can come with simple, but effective guitar work and a fusion with organ-play - combining all the great ingredients of a timeless classic. This album converted many people back to British music and was there at the beginning of the Britpop explosion....... Still this album's popularity persists and it is, rightly, considered the best Charlatan album to date - well I think so anyway!
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The Charlatans' self-titled release, their fourth studio album, was the first long-player of theirs I bought. I was working in a music store at the time and they were selling cassette copies of it for just £3.99 which, with my massive staff discount of 25%, meant that I was getting a new album for just £2.99 and, given the poor state of my finances (thanks to the low wages of said music store), I would probably have bought nearly anything half-decent at that price. I'd heard a few tracks on the radio, so didn't exactly buy it blind, but I didn't expect it to be quite as good as it is. As an introduction to the band, it's a rather great one, although there was a little discontent amongst some fans at the time who preferred their earlier material and sound. Personally, I think this is one of the best albums of the nineties, certainly of the Britpop era, and it is absolutely rammed full of brilliantly catchy songs, swirling Hammond organs, Stones-like swagger and some of the most inspired lyrics and compositions of their career. Eighteen years later, it still sounds absolutely magnificent.

There are highlights by the bucket-load here. Sultry instrumental opener "Nine Acre Court" kicks off the album excellently, before the exciting drum beat brings in "Feeling Holy" and the magic really starts to happen. "Just Lookin'" is one of the most commercial offerings, but it is also a beautifully crafted and arranged piece of work and "Crashin' In" is the sound of a band firing on all cylinders, with some lovely guitar licks and melodic bass underpinning a superb song. "Bullet Comes" is one of my favourite cuts (amongst many favourites here) with the "stuck on the way you walk/hooked on the way you talk" hook, lots of fabulous organ licks and a nice piano riff which sounds like it was almost lifted from The Rolling Stones' "We Love You". The "live it like you love it" refrain is a great line, too. The gorgeously loose verses of "Just When You're Thinking Things Over" provide a sublime contrast to the more powerful choruses, the divine guitar solo and bridge. In short, it's nearly five minutes of indie-rock genius. The breezy "Tell Everyone" concludes my personal picks from this release and the quality does tail off a little towards the end of the album, but it's still all good stuff and nothing could be considered "filler".

It would be contentious to say that this is the band's best album, but I believe that many fans would agree that it's certainly up there amongst their finest work. Tim Burgess' vocals have seldom sounded better than on these songs, all of the players are on top form and the whole album, even if they have sequenced the big songs at the front of it, is a thoroughly joyful experience. The musicianship on display here is phenomenal and the quality of songwriting make any resistance to this album futile. For the marketing marvel who decided to introduce the band to thousands of new fans by means of cheaply-priced cassettes, it definitely worked. I took a gamble on a band I didn't know much about, ended up buying one of the best albums of the time and became a newly recruited Charlatans fan. Thank you.
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on 11 July 2006
Don't know what on earth this last guy was on on about...the album is terrific, with less deep & disturbed edges than previous or subsequent albums, it's a fun trip, great melodies, great album. Tracks through to 'Tell Everyone' are terrific, it tails off a little in the last few songs hence only 4 stars, but this is a great album no doubt.
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on 3 October 2003
Thsi album really does stand the test of time. As freash today as it was back in the nineties. Tim Burgess really is one of the legends of British rock n roll and this album only underlines this fact. A gem of an album so go out and buy it!
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on 18 January 2011
The self titled Charlatans album is a quality album from the band which came out while I was at University. I saw them live in Liverpool and it is still one of my favourite gigs. There are so quality tunes on this album from the band and I do enjoy the keyboard work from Rob Collins, who sadly died in a car accident (replaced by Martin Duffy at the gig I attended who is also a wizard on the Hammond.)

They are well worth a listen if you liked the Manchester bands of the era or Brit pop in the mid 90's. Don't buy it, keep it for 15 years then bin it like my mate did...give it a go again!
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on 6 February 2014
Without these guys there would be no oasis so there .they were one of the best new indie type bands and saw them last year and they are still superb live
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on 18 April 2013
Cracking tunes from one of the UK's finest bands. Seen them a few times now & always deliver. Best front man in Music!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 December 2015
A classic British album, one of the best to emerge from the 1990s.
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on 21 March 2015
Perfect!!!!!
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on 31 January 2016
Top class.
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