The Charlatans (UK Band) - Up To Our Hips Album

Artist: The Charlatans (UK band)

Genre: Rock

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  • slowride

    Up To Our Hips!!!! This is the Top of the Charlatans' Pop. This is the only truly essential--and holy fuckin' fuck, is it ever essential--record in the Charlatans' discography, in my very humble opinion. This may also be the last album with organist Rob Collins (I'm not 100% sure about that, though), and Mr. Collins is one of the main reasons that this record is so damn groovy, and essential. He died soon after this album, at any rate, and left a legacy of ridiculously soulful, groovy music for we, the left behind.
    This monster starts off with the head bobber, Come In Number 21, and goes into the even catchier, I Never Want An Easy Life If Me And Ha Were Ever To Get There. Can't Get Out Of Bed is a fine jangly Pop tune. The rest of the album ( except for Autograph--a quieter, light guitar track) is just organ laden and bass drenched dark groove from a band with loads of potential. Somewhere between the ShoeGaze, Northern Soul, and early Rave music scenes blossoming in the UK at the time, they released their heady debut, Some Friendly in 1990, and followed with their sophomore slump, the unfocused mess, Between 10th and 11th, around 1992. By '93, '94, they were ready to realize the potential that Some Friendly promised, and make up for the mistakes of their second album. Up To Our Hips is tight and focused, full of head bopping grooves and bottom shaking rhythms. This album is downright sexy, and redefines cool. Case in point: track 4, Feel Flows, is an instrumental track that is a major highlight of this album. It's probably my favorite instrumental of all time. Yeah, it's that good. Track 5, Jesus Hairdo, is very good, finding a perfect balance between Pop, Funk, and organ groove. Up To Our Hips (the title track), Patrol, and the last track, Inside Looking Out, ride this record out into the sunlight. These are probably my three favorite tracks on here, with Inside Looking Out being my very favorite. These three are, for me, just the epitome of Up To Our Hips' unique sound. Here is where the Charlatans mix guitar Rock and Shoe Gaze and Funk and 70's Soul, and fancier keyboard driven music and reconfigure it into the perfect mix. I love this album, and listen to it on repeat because it's that good. This is one of my Desert Island albums.
    I listened to this album, along with the Verve's A Storm In Heaven, the first time I ever tripped on acid, back in 1994. I had one album on side A, and the other on side B of a cassette. They were both amazing albums to trip to. It's a tragedy that the Charlatans turned into Oasis disciples after this album. Rob could not, and would not be replaced after his death. Tim Burgess had a great vocal tone, but dropped it to sound like Liam Gallagher. They probably found a little more success after this album, but this is where they peaked for me. I HIGHLY recommend this whole album, whole heartedly. A+++