If necessity is the mother of invention, it also begets collaboration. Following the untimely death of drummer Jon Brookes in 2013, Tim Burgess and co. turned to friends and fellow artists for assistance and their 13th album is consequently both their most wide-ranging in years.
Everyone from author Ian Rankin, actress Sharon Horgan and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner feature in some capacity, while Johnny Marr, New Order's Stephen Morris and Paul Weller add flourishes to the zippy Solutions, the laidback groove of Let's Go Together and Not Forgotten, which harks back to their Madchester years.
There is a mid-album lull with the stilted electronic undercurrents of the dull Over Again, but closer Spinning Out sums up their new-found approach to writing solid songs that will probably age better than most of their back catalogue. Thecharlatans.net Download: Not Forgotten, Spinning Out.