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Cover Art Charlatans UK
Melting Pot: The Best Of...
[Beggars Banquet]
Rating: 8.2

When the Charlatans UK came on the scene in early 1990, they were assumed to be yet another band in the new- wave- of- new- wave from the UK. They were commonly acknowledged as the "latest Stone Roses ripoff." But in 1998, after outlasting the Stone Roses as well as the shoegazers, the Charlatans have had the last laugh. Melting Pot compiles the band's best tracks thus far. And ultimately, the disc is fluff- free and solid.

Self- proclaimed Charlatans expert Neal says "Up To Our Hips is the best record the Charlatans ever made!" Lucky for us, the record company chose four tracks from that release including "Jesus Hairdo," "Can't Get Out Of Bed," "I Never Want An Easy Life If Me And He Were Ever To Get There," and a Chemical Brothers remix of "Patrol."

Of course, the disc includes the tracks for which the Charlatans are most famous. "The Only One I Know," "Weirdo," and of course, "Can't Get Out Of Bed" give the listener an idea of how the band has evolved over the past eight years. The organs remain in the forefront, with Tim Burgess' distinctive vocals, and are eventually joined by heavier use of guitars in later songs like "One To Another."

The Charlatans UK really have come a long way from being that "Stone Roses ripoff band." Their last release, Tellin' Stories, launched them to their career high, and recently, they headlined the Glastonbury Music Festival, playing to millions of adoring fans. This compilation not only unites their old and new fans, but will also be the perfect base for their next creative musical endeavor.

-Aparna Mohan

10.0: Essential
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible