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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Tellin’ Stories

The Charlatans

1997

Buy At Rough Trade
Tellin’ Stories
Album Summary

Tellin' Stories is the fifth album by the British alternative rock band The Charlatans, released on 21 April 1997. It includes the final contributions of founder-member and keyboard player Rob Collins who died in a car accident midway through recording. The album was their most commercially successful, having three top ten singles, which remain their career's highest charting.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.94

Votes

11229

Genres

  • Rock
  • Britpop
  • Indie

Reviews

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Thu Sep 23 2021
4

I don't know why, but this album actually struck me quite well. Beginning at a high acceleration, the songs sort of lose energy, but in a way that feels almost cathartic. The best way I can express it is the feeling at the tail end of a party, where there is almost too much going on, so then you leave with a van full of people and begin dropping them off, and by the end of the ride it is just you and one other person talking about life together. Really nice.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

This is some really good Brit-pop -> in an alternate universe most of these tracks would replace the same timeless status as Oasis' big hits. This is a better band with better songwriting (melodies, dynamics, whocaresaboutlyrics :).....) - the single "One To Another" was immediately recognizable and got some radio play way back in the day - deservedly so. Even though this may not be anything super-complex or groundbreaking, this is a great melodic guitar album that is easy-entry and eminently catchy with fantastic songs. And I was going to give it a solid 3 but as I've found myself listening to it on repeat and am already on my 4th listen - this is a 4 star keeper for me. 7/10 4 stars (One small nitpick is that I'd love to hear a remix; this sounds a little ... cloudy... for my liking.)

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Wed Aug 11 2021
2

“Tellin’ Stories” by The Charlatans (1997) Here we have more eye-rolling British pop from the last millennium. With super safe lyrics that studiously avoid controversy or offense, these Charlatans give us words around which to wrap music. Sometimes it’s an ill fit. It’s as if they really don’t have anything to say, but they want to say it with style. Tunes are composed with pleasant enough melodies, and the chord structures sometimes go beyond the ordinary, but without a mood to match. It seems random. Even the jazzy experimental compositions “Area 51” and “Rob’s Theme” fall flat. And the Dylanesque “Get On It” is thirty years too late. Are these guys coasting on previous success? The unrelated collection of songs on this album are conventional enough to guarantee popular airplay. They’ve got the fundamentals down. And it’s well produced, but with little dynamic variation. The biggest weakness here is lack of groove or dominant riffs—nothing to grab the listener. Hoping for something special, one comes to the fadeout of the last track asking, “Is that it?” 2/5

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Fri Jun 18 2021
1

What is the point of this. I can tell this book was edited by an English music reviewer. There's a reason I've never heard of this band. Generic garbage

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Wed Dec 01 2021
3

Some solid 90s era Britpop/alternative tunes. A tad on the generic side but overall quality album. Favorite Track: Area 51 Relisten: Yes

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Thu Apr 15 2021
2

More gerneric British alt rock. 4/10.

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Thu May 27 2021
2

This sounds like a cheerier version of Oasis. This just feels like another random British band that made it because they were relatively popular when the original list was made. I've still only gotten 1 jazz album on this list, but there seems to be an endless supply of late 90s to early 00s British rock bands that I have to slog through to get to good albums. 2/5

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Thu Mar 31 2022
1

This is by far the most by-the-numbers record we've listened to from this list. It's insufferably generic with some of the most vanilla guitar tones I've heard on a record. This wave of British rock that made purposefully boring Stones rock is entirely skip-able. It's amazing that this band was around before Oasis, but saw their success with Brit pop and decided to throw their hat in the ring after being overshadowed by the Stone Roses in the early 90s. Just give up if this is all you got. They waited until the outro track "Rob's Theme" to give us an interesting track on this album. Sheeeeeesh Wtf kinda drugs were these folks taking in the 90s anyways? Boring pills? Snooooooze.

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Mon Oct 05 2020
5

Well this was funny as i just finished his book, named the same as this album. While this album is not my favourite Charlatans album - thats probably the debut Some Friendly or the follow up Between 10th and 11th - its still a great album and i cannot give it anything but a 5. The book? You should read it! Some great anecdotes in there. And yeah, Tim Burgess has great music taste and there's a lot of name dropping in there.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Some blasts from the past fleshed out with some decent tracks I'd never heard. I wish I was more into this stuff first time round.

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Fri Mar 04 2022
3

I try so hard to love the Charlatans as they are everything I want in a band but then again they just aren't. With the exception of a couple of early singles I have always found the band excel at being average. I wouldn't go as far as calling the also rans as they have etched out a reasonably successful and long career, they have just never burnt as bright as some of the contemporaries. So that brings me to this album Tellin' Stories, it came out at a time where Brit Pop was on the wane, big beat had stared to take over, Blur had reinvented themselves etc. Nothing on this albllum is exciting or new. Even 25 years on it feels like a lesser version of other bands. And Tim Burgess, his vocals start to grate by the time the album finally ends. For reasons, I can't even remember, North Country Boy is one of my least favourite songs of the era. I cringe when I hear it. Anyway, not a bad ablum but maybe not that essential either.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
2

Blah blah blah, drone drone drone.

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Mon Jun 13 2022
2

I'm sorry the fothermucker died, condolences to the family, etc, but I still don't like Britpop.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Britpop hangover. Best Tracks: North Country Boy, One To Another, How Can You Leave Us

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Sat Nov 25 2023
4

I want to start this review by giving the lead singer Tim Burgess a special shout out. Anyone enjoying this project should also check out Tim’s twitter listening parties (you can reply a lot of them on his website), something he started during Covid lockdowns and what got me back into listening to full albums, which then lead to me starting this project. Anyways on to the review…. The Charlatans are one of the underrated bands from the Britpop era. To me, Telling Stories is a captivating and energetic album that showcases their musical talent and diversity. However, I can appreciate that those who do not like Britpop might think this is very average or bland. Musically, I was impressed by this album. The standout track was their biggest hit, One to Another, which has a catchy chorus and a powerful guitar riff. This album is already in my frequent rotation of Britpop albums, so I might be biased. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
3

3.5/5. Not the worst alt-rock I've been thrown, but by no means is it amazing. Overall it sounded better than other alt-rock albums I've listened to.

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Sun Mar 05 2023
3

Хороший альбом, позитивный, так сказать :) И вроде не к чему придраться в нём. Классный бритпоп, легко слушается, но не цепляет как-то ничем. Всё как-будто дефолтное какое-то. Слова обычные, голос обычный, супер выдающихся гитарных или ударных соляков не замечено. Разве что можно отметить внезапные вставки соула, которые отсылают нас к Бобу Дилану немножко. Чуваки ещё заявляли хип-хоп, но как-то особо я тут его не услышал особо. Хоть и ждал. Может быть, они имели в виду инструментал Zone 51 как хип-хоп, но что-то как-то не...

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Mon Jul 03 2023
3

I really struggle in rating albums like this. It is inoffensive and not remarkable, but also pleasant enough that it didn't intrude in any unpleasant way. A decent album to put on while I drink my morning coffee and browse the ol' Internet on this Sunday morning, but on the other hand, it lacks a certain spice to make me want to listen to more. It is worse off being kind of boring or being kind of painful on the ears? Settled on 3 stars based on the merit that (morbidly enough) it is a wonder that this album flows as smoothly as it does considering the circumstances behind it's production. It helps that this album does not drag.

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Tue Jun 18 2024
3

Hmmm, for some reason I thought the Charlatans were a 00s indie band. This was fine I guess, sounds like all britpop which I'm not a massive fan of, I think unfortunately britpop got a bit overplayed for me and I'm bored of it but I guess for the time it would have been great.

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Sat Jun 22 2024
3

Not so bad overall. Catchy Britpop with memorable choruses and great instrumentation throughout. Feels like it could belong to such a list, except from one little detail: this record, supposedly the magnum opus of The Charlatans, was released in the second half of the nineties, not the first. To be more specific, it was released one month before Radiohead turned the game of British (alt-)rock on its head with *OK Computer*. Talk about a last-minute feat before that whole Stone Roses / Oasis-adjacent sound immediately became less relevant. This situation might explain the Britpop "fatigue" of some listeners on this app (sometimes harshly expressed), and so the album's relatively low global score. It's true that this record goes through very predictable stylistic twists and turns at times, from Rolling Stones-indebted compositions to Stone Roses / Primal Scream-like syncopated rhythms and heavily guitar-laden spots à la Oasis. And this to the point where it sometimes feels you don't even need to listen to the album to know what's in it. Add the fact that the record's second half is far less impressive than the first (except for one organ-enhanced cut reminding me of Bob Dylan circa *Highway '61 Revisited*, before one instrumental closer paying tribute to the band's keyboard player--who tragically died during the sessions of *Tellin' Stories*), and what you have here is a record that clearly lacks something to *truly* stand out. Pretty good music is still pretty good music, though. Had this thing been released three years earlier, chances are The Charlatans would have been a more famous figurehead for that whole Britpop thing, maybe up to the level of Oasis themselves. To be fair, Blur was still more interesting as an album band than any of those acts, but to use words used by The Charlatans themselves, that's a (music tabloid) "story" I'm gonna tell in another time, kiddies. 3/5 for the purposes of this list of "essential albums" 8/10 for more general purposes Number of albums left to review: 155 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 364 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 214 Albums from the list I won't include in mine: 271 (including this one)

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Wed Jun 26 2024
3

not bad... but had to give it a couple of listens to actually hear it - - know what I mean?

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Sun May 02 2021
2

Britpop delontón donde no hay que destacar nada. Suenan como unos Oasis descafeinados. Interesante cuando copian a Dylan, debieran haber tirado por ahí mejor. De fondo.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
2

There's some proper Gallagher pronunciation here innit. What a mess.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
2

Tedious baggy. Distinctly average.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
2

This one feels especially inessential. I suppose the one thing in its favour is, were you to ask me to simply imagine a rock album from 1997, the resulting mental composite would sound a lot like 'Tellin' Stories' by the Charlatans. 'One To Another' has a bit of a sting in the tail; 'How High' ain't too bad; and I quite enjoyed the quirky instrumental 'Area 51'. Everything else just sounds safe, conservative, uninspired and boring.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
2

Very bland album from the band that nobody wanted to own up to liking at the time. They were a few years too late, too poppy, a bit whiny and derivative. This album was pretty much what I was expecting, like a poor man's version of all the more accomplished bands around that had already done the same thing a decade or so earlier. The murky production didn't help much and there wasn't anything to stand out, no amazing guitar or exciting compositions, just lots of stuff that sounded a bit like other bands. I was considering a 3-star rating, but I think I'll drop this one to a 2.

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Fri Jun 21 2024
2

I’m not familiar with the rest of their discography, but this album just sounds like a poorly produced Oasis copycat

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Fri Jun 21 2024
2

Not the worst but honestly quite boring.

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Sun Jun 23 2024
2

This was very generic and boring. I don't really care for Oasis but this seemed like a worse form of Oasis. I feel like including stuff like this is an insult to so much that could have been included.

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Sun Aug 15 2021
5

Loved it! Great songwriting and overall vibe. Favorite track is number 10: Get it on. Can’t wait to play this one on high rotation.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
5

Feels like I'm 15 again, loved this album then and listened the hell out of it, so it's great to hear again. Loads of musical layers, brilliant lyrics, it's a big noise. What a band.

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

So much drive in this album quite rocky in parts

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Great band. Great album. 💚 The Charlatans

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

A delightfully nostalgic listen. My brother used to hammer this album and it took me straight back to the 90s. Don't think I've ever actively sought out Tellin' Stories before, but i loved it!

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

kinda decent sound but not an enjoyable album by any means

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

Love this album, great one to wake up to in a van near Manchester on the way to a festival where Tim Burgess is playing

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Wed Feb 01 2023
5

Just love this album. Key record for 90s Britain.

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Wed Feb 08 2023
5

Poxa, até agora não teve nenhum que eu já tivesse ouvido do tanto desse. Não tem como ser menor que 5. FDS. Aquele show em Recife...perdi umas células auditivas ali.

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Fri Mar 31 2023
5

One of my favourite albums of the 90s the 4 singles are superb. Definitely the high point of their career. One to Another is one ofthe greatest indie disco tunes of all time. 4.5 stars bumped up to a 5.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
5

Maybe I’m just on a vacation high but everything sounds so great to me right now. I loved this so much!

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Tue Sep 19 2023
5

It was a very relaxing album that made me feel upbeat. Sounded very similar to the Ocean's soundtrack

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

Rating this on its own merits and not based on it sounding like other britpop bands.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
5

kinda like Elvis Costello. I like it. Would listen to more

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Wed Jul 17 2024
5

Great album really enjoyed it.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

Glad I didn’t skip this one.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Pues sí me gustó. Suena muy a muchas cosas de las que sobaban en ese entonces en eso lares, pero tienen su marca personal. Escucharlo es como meterte en Lock Stock and Two smoking barrels.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Sounds like we’ll executed mid-90s Britpop.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Solid, enjoyable Britpop album.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

I liked this, but it wasn’t particularly memorable.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Ganz nett! Der Hit "the only one I know" ist leider nicht dabei. Oasis lässt grüßen. Macht Lust auf Indiefilme aus UK mit Musikboys in Skinnyjeans.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Seems very good. Definitely worth another listen.

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Sun Apr 18 2021
4

on dirait un coming of age movie des 2000's de la campagne écossaise. DERRY GIRLS enjoyable oooh nice guitar solo tbh idk if i see myself returning back to it ok one to another is a bop how can you leave us also great how high = <3 so far, it's a 4. un peu funky les solos get on it est très bien ça me semblait ne pas casser trois pâtes à un canard au début mais la fin de l'album est vraiment bien quant à la voix du mec, pas transcendante mais délivre bien les lignes ok c'est quoi cet amour des 90's pour les interludes vous êtes pas Bach, alors on se calme. ouais les 2 interludes sont sympas mais je ne les écouterai pas de moi-même one of them looks like he's got a frog in his mouth yeah a 4. = 80/100 great qualities, not exactly always my style

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

Pretty good! Favourite tracks were With No Shoes and Tellin' Stories.

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Tue May 25 2021
4

It's fine. Solid 90s alt rock. It doesn't seem that anything about this album is super special.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

One of these stars is due to nostalgia. I like the Charlatans but they don't exactly excite me.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Sounds like Oasis or maybe Oasis sounds like them. Good sound anyways.

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Tue Aug 10 2021
4

Liked the bass line (piano / keyboard) of One to Another a lot. Liked 'Get On It' quite a bit too, great buildup. Didn't love the vocals

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Thu Sep 23 2021
4

A fun listen. If not for these guys, there's no MGMT, Kasabian....

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

So wait...is this Oasis? No? This is not Oasis? This is Oasis, right? Ok, with that out of the way, it's actually really good. I love the guitar riffs. These are really great pop/rock songs. I mean if it was Oasis...and I'm still not sure it's not...this would be one of the good Oasis records.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

Anche in questo caso è la prima volta che sento i The Charlatans. Questo disco è stato un ascolto davvero divertente! Nonostante fossi distratto mi sono fermato più volte a sentire o a guardare quale pezzo fosse. In questo gruppo si sente la parte che mi piace dello stile inglese, quell'influenza punk vera che unita al rock un po' alternativo crea un mix davvero sfizioso e non autoreferenziale. La produzione mi è sembrata un po' amatoriale ma sto sentendo anche con delle cuffie di merda quindi lascio passare. Bravi The Charlatans, non vi dimenticherò. 4 abbastanza giusto.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

Britpop meets Madchester grooves.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

It has a nice oasis vibe to it. Will definitely listen to more

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

what is it about brit pop where you just know it's brit? idk but this was fun drivey soundtrack music

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

Great album, brought back memories of growing up in the 90s.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

An album from my university days! I loved listening to this again! It seemed so familiar, yet it is old. I can’t help but think it is timeless in its melodies and smart lyrics.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
4

Wow that was a 90s band for sure. I thought it was good but not terribly distinguishable from other core 90s bands. I felt I was hearing a sound like Foo Fighters and Filter when I was listening to them. Solid and well done but not 5/5.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

Sunny slice of 90s indie... nice

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Wish.com version of oasis/blur. Very good though

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Wed Feb 16 2022
4

Aww yeah pour that BritPop on me!

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Thu Mar 10 2022
4

Wat standaard alternative rock. Goed album, maar springt er niet persé uit

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Wed Mar 16 2022
4

One of the Best by the Charlatans. One of the Best from the UK indie dance rock era in the 90’s.

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Sat Mar 19 2022
4

Solid, enjoyable Britpop album. Great, catchy songs with a mostly low key vibe that is hitting me just right today. This is an album I think I'll be coming back to. Fave Songs: Get on It, Only Teething, How Can You Leave Us, Tellin' Stories, You're a Big Girl Now, North Country Boy, How High

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Mon Mar 21 2022
4

I wasn't sure if I was familiar with the band until I saw them listed as The Charlatans UK. All of the music on Tellin' Stories was new to me, and I couldn't say if I've heard anything from this band before. The Charlatans seemed like they would fit in with Blur, James, Oasis, and the Verve. "One to Another", "Area 51" and "Only Teethin'" were saved to my personal playlist. I'd be interested in hearing more from this band.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
4

4/5. Psychedelic oasis Radiohead Brit-pop pretty good except for Big Girl song

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Thu Apr 21 2022
4

Bold and brash, full of ego. The vocals hover a little around Liam territory - not surprising given the Britpop territory at the time. This reminds me of listening to The Evening Session every night. The Charlatans always seemed to have a single out - a bit like The Smiths a decade earlier. North Country Boy bit of an anthem; there's a killer bass on One to Another. This was the start of the more thoughtful songwriting from the band. Tremendous stuff.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

I certainly get the Oasis vibe with this one, but don't hold it against them and thought the whole album had a nice groove to it.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

This is how English rock singers and indie rock bands were supposed to sound, circa 1992 – just the slightest sneering to the singing and the loosest . So call it state-of-the-art. This band is in one’s sweet spot, both temporally (i.e., era) and stylistically (i.e., a phile of Britpop in all its forms). But the operative question here is how well it holds up, and the answer is, very well.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
4

This is a solid brit-pop brit-rock album. These guys were definitely up there with Oasis. I like, but don't LOVE brit-pop, but even so - this album is pretty darn good, and there's a few songs I have taken from it (With No Shoes and One to Another)

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

Really chill Brit-Pop album, really good sounds, singer left something to be desired, but that's honestly just my personal preference for vocals

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

Loved this. Hints of Dylan, Jeff Buckley, smashing pumpkins. Good melodic rock

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

Wasnt to sure about it from first few tracks. But 'one to another' onwards was completely on board. Madchester innit

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Mon Sep 12 2022
4

Really really good, but not quite brilliant - so I guess it'll be 4 🌟! The big hits and that title track are the most immediate, but it's all pretty solid - just missing a bit of spark in my opinion

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Lovely album with some great tunes

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