Customer Reviews: Who We Touch (Dlx)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars6
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on June 17, 2011
So, I believe this is the Charlatans' 11th Studio album. The Charlatans are in my list of top ten artists and I'm always excited when they have a new release out. Unfortunately, the only word I can sum-up their latest effort with is "disappointing". This album took me a while to finally buy, because you see, this is the United States and all the best music seems to miss us. This means it was impossible to find this album in any of my local stores. I finally purchased this album through a seller on Amazon and it arrived the other day. I've had about 2 or 3 listens to these tracks and I have to say that this is sadly The Charlatans' standout weakest effort. If you're someone who is looking to check out this band, start somewhere else; just about anywhere else. The other 10 studio albums are good, solid efforts. Who We Touch suffers on a few different levels. The harder-edged organ/guitar rock element is sorely missing, the hooks on all the songs are trying to be painfully catchy, and the subject matter of the songs seems like there's too much of an effort to have mass popular appeal and the lyrics lack any real depth because of it. It's not a terrible album, but stacked up against the other Charlatans albums, it's pretty bland. The one and only track that I find myself going back to more than others is "Your Pure Soul". This song has the classic Charlatans feel to it and definitely benefits from it, hence the title of this review. So, the explanation of why I gave this album 3 stars is because of the deluxe edition. There are a handful of out-takes and alternate takes on the second disc that are better than the tracks on the album itself. I kind of like when reviewers do a track-by-track run-through, so below are my (brief) initial impressions of the album tracks:

Love is Ending - Basic rock song, nothing special here; forgettable
My Foolish Pride - Kind of interesting, but too "TV Theme Song" for me
Your Pure Soul - Classic Charlatans organ-drenched rock-ballad. Best tune on album.
Smash the System - Song is way too mellow to be about smashing the system; Also, seems like the title is supposed to make this a song about rebellion and smashing the system seems like a phrase that wore out its welcome over 20 years ago.
Intimacy - Verse = interesting and fun, Chorus = annoying
Sincerity - Decent, nothing special
Trust in Desire - song that has that kind of quarter-note beat that every other pop-rock song has lately; trying too hard to be an anthem. Decent, but not outstanding
When I Wonder - Gotta say, this one isn't too bad. Interesting chord-structure
Oh - Kinda just there, not much to say
You Can Swim - Pretty bland, slow-moving tune
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 14, 2010
A blistering guitar riff which soon morphs into a catchy retro Rock song on "Love is ending" opens the new CD by UK Rockers Charlatans. Comprising 10 tracks, other upbeat songs are the sixties-sounding harmonious "My foolish pride", "Sincerity" (with a shouty chorus), "Trust in desire" (which starts off an acoustic ballad) and the breezy "When I wonder".

"Your pure soul" is an acoustic/organ-drenched ballad. Other standouts are the Psychedelic Folky ballad "Oh!" and the part woozy experimental "You can swim" followed by the hidden spoken "On the threshold".

"Who we touch", truly touching.
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on September 26, 2010
The upswing that The Charlatans began on their "You Cross My Path" release continues here with gusto. "Love Is Ending" storms out of the gate, to be followed by the mid-1960's British Invasion-ish "My Foolish Pride". Other highlights include the soaring "Your Pure Soul"; "Smash The System", which has something of a robotic vibe; the funky/groovy "Intimacy"; "Sincerity", which is another charging rocker; and the hands-down best song on the album: "Trust In Desire", an anthem with a chorus heavenly enough to make U2 envious. In fact, the highlights on the album are so legion that it would be easier to point out the songs that don't work. There are really only two, and unfortunately they both come at the end of the album. "Oh!" is a charming, low-key lilt of a song that takes a couple detours bizarre enough to prevent me from truly embracing it, and "You Can Swim", which, by itself an innocuous, quiet yet ultimately forgettable meditation of a song, has the misfortune of being saddled with a spoken-word "bonus" track that ranks among the more horrendous catastrophes ever committed to tape. Listening to "I Sing The Body Eclectic" is like viewing a fatal car wreck: you can't stop, even though you know you should, until it's safely behind you and out of sight. No clue what the band was thinking on that one!

As for the bonus tracks tacked onto the end of the album, most are non-essential; merely demo or alternate versions of the finished tracks that offer very little real difference. The "studio out-takes", however, are exceptions to this rule. These are all worth hearing, particularly "Who We Touch Don't Mind" and "Don't Know Where Or When", both of which could - and should - have remained on the album. In fact, "Don't Know Where Or When" would have provided a much more contemplative and emotionally satisfying end to the album than does "You Can Swim". A shame the band chose to excise it. Whether you buy the standard 10-track album or this "deluxe" version with the added tracks, you can't go wrong with this solid, thrilling release from The Charlatans. Highly recommended.
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on March 20, 2012
It took me a while to actually buy this cd, I have all their other albums and like them all, really love some. The Charlatans are one of those bands that in my opinion never put out bad stuff, though some is not as good as others. My opinion has been that since the death of Rob Collins, the Charlatans would never reach the peak they once held. However after saying that....I have to also say that this is the best thing they've done since Rob died. Us and Us only and Up at the Lake came close but I've had this CD for almost a month now and I still can't stop listening to it. The songs are great, it sounds like the charlatans yet each song takes it to a new area. It's fantastic, if you've ever liked this band do yourself a favor and buy this CD.
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on April 7, 2012
The Charlatans are without doubt one of my all-time favorite bands. Ive introduced (or re-introduced) dozens of my friends to their music, and I try to hit their show every time they are Stateside (multiple shows if I can swing it).
I think they are one of the most under-rated bands in the US.

All that said, this album is not their best work. There are a few good songs in here (Your Pure Soul; You Can Swim; Intimacy). But others are just not up to snuff ("Sincerity" is especially awful).

Cover art/tour T-Shirt design was also mediocre (off topic, I know). Here are my "grades" for the songs on this album

B- Love is Ending
A- My Foolish Pride
A You're Pure Soul
B Smash The System
A- Intimacy
D Sincerity
C+ Trust In Desire
C When I Wonder
C Oh
B+ You Can Swim
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on July 11, 2011
if you need new then buy this ground breaker but worth owning...especially when compared with the stale over-evolved average sounding blandness of post 90s rock
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