Eighth LP from north country boys, recorded in 10 days

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The Charlatans – Up At The Lake

As usual, The Charlatans follow a stylistic switch with an album marking time. So in the wake of Wonderland’s sharp Curtis Mayfield curve, Up At The Lake is a curate’s egg of tested pop styles, each song a discreet dabble in the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Wings. Though hardly the album-length E-rush of career peak Tellin’ Stories (1997), this approach still offers small gems: “I’ll Sing A Hymn”, on which Burgess essays the satisfied mind of Dylan circa New Morning; or “Try Again Today”, which, with its McCartney-esque melody, soaring chorus and blissed ache, is a fraction short of the great mid-’90s singles that made Britpop seem a good idea.