Charlatans UK
Simpatico
(Sanctuary)
The Charlatans UK is pretty much the only entity that remains from the late ’80s Manchester surge. This band has had a storied career: aside from the drugs and mayhem, they released some friggin’ stellar material over several great albums, peaking on 1999’s Us and Us Only. Even when they weren’t top notch, they were interesting. How a band of this calibre can release such pap is beyond comprehension. “The Architect,” uninspired limp-reggae, making UB40’s “Red Red Wine” seem like a hardcore dub-jam. And “Sunset and Vine” is a Roxy Music rip-off (“Can’t Stop the Dance”) that should be have been left on the cutting room floor. Boring.
—Dave Hayden

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