Monday, August 05, 2002

The Charlatans - Charlatans UK
I'm trying to write about this album without listening to it right now, which I think will probably fail miserably. It's one that I bought on a bit of a well-it's-used-and-cheap lark without knowing too much about it, which isn't very common for me. It ended up in my CD case on my trip to my little sister's wedding before I had listened it, so I listened to it first while I was alone in my parents house the day before the wedding. It was a pretty unseasonable day for June - thunderstorms, and cold; the kitchen a deep gray without the lights on. Their stereo was two rooms away, so by the time the music reached me in the kitchen it had filtered through a doorway and around a sofa. I was in a giddy, happy mood- singing to the cat who sat by the door, bounding down the stairs and skipping the bottom ones. The CD in the stereo before this one was OK Computer- normally one which I love, but not a good match for my mood. Fitting, though, in the way that it was a 180 from The Charlatans. Highlights from that listen: Bullet Comes (I think this is one with the tearing away keyboards) and Tell Everyone. When I think about it now, I can't seperate that day from the next one with the bright sunshine everywhere, grasping at each second to impress it in my mind so that I would have it forever, snippets of laughing with her friends, taking pictures of my parents, smiling everywhere. Driving home late in the evening after the wedding, I played this again and fell asleep slouched in the front seats. When I close my eyes now, I see the tops of the trees lit up by the headlights running underneath and feel so drained of everything but bliss.
"Baby, tell me it's the way you feel not the place you hold your dreams" - the best I can come up with is that these lines hold why this song fit so well with that weekend. They don't have the melodic brilliance that Crowded House does, there's none of the amazing guitar playing that I adore in other bands, and the drumming sounds kind of lame in some songs (see again: Tell Everyone. Someone should have confiscated their cymbals- if that's what that is). At the same time, it's one of the few bands where I can hear all the places where it fails, and still not want a note changed. Their albums often have a really relaxed feeling that drags the songs down, but here it's just a mellow slackness to the music that fits the material well.

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