This album was a long time coming. The Charlatans had been in existence since the Madchester days of The Stone Roses. Even so, their career was lengthy and they had a large number of ups and downs respectively, including losing organist Rob Collins in a car crash in 1995. The group decided to continue onwards after that unfortunate event and created this album, Tellin’ Stories, which was a big hit for the group in 1997. Let’s take a listen to this album and hear where it goes.

With No Shoes launches into it with harmonica and some excellent wah-wah guitar, before going straight into a legendary tune with awesome riffs with some ambivalent singing to match. Instantly, this is a wonderful listen and has a lot to do with the Britpop movement prevalent in the UK at the time. A really forward thinking, decent and excellent listening experience, this combines a lot of what was great about British music back then. The wah-wah guitar in particular is really fantastic, and the stoner/slacker vibe here is amazing. A great song from the start, there are enormous drum rolls and some wicked guitar soloing in the middle. A very trippy and loose sounding tune, The Charlatans make original music that sounds unlike anything else out there. A brilliant and wonderful effort, even for a seemingly lesser song, this is a joy to hear. A joyous and fresh listening experience, the guitars in the outro are really top and amazing, all the way through to the fade out. Legendary.

North Country Boy begins with some chiming, overdriven guitars and launches into a pseudo-Country music song that sounds really consistent and marvellous. A good, simple and semi-Psychedelic Britpop tune that deserves to be heard. This isn’t as loud as Oasis, nor as pretentious as some of Blur’s work. It is just a simple Pop/Rock tune about love and life, this is a good tune from these Manchester lads. It has a good guitar solo section that sounds very nicely driven and multitracked. A decent four minute long piece of music about someone’s girlfriend lyrically, matched with some simple 1960s and 1990s sounds. Towards the end are some repeated guitar harmonics, rolling drums and organ galore. Excellent music.

Tellin’ Stories is the title track. It leads into it with strummed acoustic guitars, laidback but rolling drumbeats and has some spacey Electronic textures throughout. This does sound very nicely executed by the group, and has more retro lyrics of romanticism. The music here isn’t a million miles away from Oasis or The Verve on this album. An awesome and intricate tune with some nice and loud guitar fills throughout. This is a very simple, pretty and worthwhile tune for those who miss the 1990s, yet who love a dash of youthful romance in the lyrics of the music. An amazing and artistic tune that has many different layers of sonic ear candy, this does work extremely well. The guitars present are fairly Punk as well. A brilliant song with an extended outro with some punchy and syncopated playing by the band. One of the most underrated albums from the 1990s so far, this is excellent. The ending has some Electronic keyboards that wrap this up. Nice work.

One To Another begins with some wah-wah guitars, electronic sounds and matching drumbeats, with a bit of piano. It quickly launches into a very quintessentially British and awesome tune to listen to. Again, this music is of an underrated and very good quality. Lyrics are about promises kept between lovers here, and are matched by simple yet classy music and sounds that are very 1990s. Tim Burgess’s vocals here are very simple, ambivalent yet well delivered. He sounds rather nasal on this song, and there are some rather dark lyrics throughout. The breakdown in the second half of the song is definitely worth hearing, if you want to hear a brilliant mash up of Rock and EDM. A repeated guitar riff follows, and this marvellous tune is wonderful to hear. A great 20th century Pop/Rock piece with EDM Breakbeat flirtations, this is a winner. It ends with sustained guitar chords to conclude. Excellent.

You’re A Big Girl Now begins with gorgeously played acoustic guitar, piano and other unusual instrumentation. The vocals by Tim Burgess are quite distinctly decent here, and this acoustic ballad hits the spot here. A great piece of music for those who want to hear the sort of song that one could play by the fireside on acoustic guitar with some friends, this does sound fresh and relaxing. An excellent piece of 1990s teenage romanticism, definitely worth hearing. It segues into the next tune.

How Can You Leave Us begins with soft and rhythmic hi-hats, followed quickly by guitars that are beautifully melodic. The song present is gorgeous, melodic and pretty about a difficult situation with romance. This is another decent and worthwhile listen from way back in 1997. The Charlatans made simple, pretty and melodic music that sounds great to this day. A fine and decent listening experience that sounds really quite simple, for all its heartaches within. The outro is a Classic Rock piece that sounds wonderful, complete with jangly guitars and thunderous drum rolls. Nice work.

Area 51 begins with the sound of rushing noise, followed quickly by drums and bass guitar that sound very groovy. This is an instrumental, but one that is a 1990s look back to the 1960s and is rather Psychedelic in its orientation, as a result. A great tune to enjoy, this music is a good mixture of the past, boiled together into a glorious 1997 fix. The guitars in the midsection are interesting and thoughtful, with a neat trippy edge. Organs dominate the second half here, and the rest of the band follows this rather trippy concoction of sound. An awesome instrumental, and proof that these guys knew how to Rock. Good job. The outro has a nice breakdown and a strange conclusion. Excellent tune, once again.

How High begins with loud, meaty guitar riffs and launches into a fantastic song that is 1997 and fantastic simultaneously. It has a great chord progression on the guitar, memorable and singalong lyrics with some memorable concepts and a great sense of amazing melody and music at hand. This is likely the best song from this album, and has some good neck pickup guitars in the second half, before the band launch back into the song. An awesome tune, if you can hear only one song by these guys, this is it. It ends with sustained guitar chords, once again.

Only Teething begins with some bongo beats, bass guitar and some nicely strummed acoustic guitars to match. Tim Burgess’s singing here is classic and classy, and he sings about more relationship troubles at hand, in keeping in line with the 1960s approach musically. A pleasant and summery styled listen, this is ideal for playing with your friends on a picnic in the park. The lyricism is quite dark, in amongst the rather relaxing musical backdrop. An enjoyable and listenable tune from an overlooked and underrated band. A tremendous listen throughout, regardless of the lyrics. The song gradually concludes with an extended outro with some organs and instrumental playing that is fresh sounding. Good job, the end has bongos and organs duking it out for attention.

Get On It has harmonica, guitars and more organs, launching straight into it. This is a good song, once again, even though the quality of the album can be a bit patchy at times. Nonetheless, this is still a very fresh, exciting and invigorating musical listen. This music is very unique, it just sounds like music that is unlike anything else out there to this very day. Regardless, the music is fairly Manchester based in tradition, and it flows wonderfully and superbly. The music, lyrics and sounds are a wonderful mash-up of 1990s style and culture. The second half has some do-do-doo harmonies and launches into an extended instrumental section that sounds very wonderful indeed. There are guitar riffs galore and music that makes one feel good, which is the purpose of music, after all. A great listen throughout, it changes in sections, tempo and variety that sound brilliant. If you have heard Oasis a million times and are looking for something similar, but different, The Charlatans are a good starting point for that sort of music. Excellent, all the way through to the ending of the song.

Rob’s Theme begins with some birds chirping, water rushing and similar sounds of nature, not a million miles away from Pink Floyd’s early instrumentals here. Some child talk is sampled after. Soon enough, there is a lead-in from the band with a very trippy instrumental that does sound great, to this very day. An excellent tune to listen to, there is light, shade and colour throughout that sounds really excellent and brilliant to hear. With some subtle percussion, wah-wah guitar and other interesting textures to match, this is a great musical creation to finish off quite a good album. A really interesting, wonderful and decent tune to enjoy, it gradually fades out rather slowly towards the end. There is some silence following it, which is strange, and the album is over.

The Charlatans, although often viewed as merely a Britpop band and being of a passing trend, have made a great album here to listen to, provided that one is in the mood for 1990s nostalgia. It’s not a perfect album by any means, but it does tick most of the boxes when it comes to good music. Should you listen to this album? Definitely, give it a try and hear if it works for you. A sweet trip down memory lane.

Decent and excellent post-Madchester Britpop music.