The Charlatans - Us And Us Only (MCA) As legacy would have it, Los Angeles has always been the graveyard for any British rocker who dared to move in. The list of musicians who arrived in the City of the Angels with a sound creative mind and left with a stoned and morbid one is endless.
Therefore many might have feared the worst for The Charlatans when news broke that their frontman, Tim Burgess, decided to call the place home earlier this year.
Burgess' westward move did not kill the man or the band - it made them stronger. Us And Us Only is testament that The Charlatans are here to reclaim the throne.
The songs on the album are honed to pop perfection and filled with positive vibes, with influences ranging from the tight psychedelia of latter-day Beatles, in songs such as Impossible, to the sweeping grandeur of James in Senses.
This is probably an album Noel Gallagher would be proud of.
Easily putting their Best Of compilation last year in the shade, confidence is justly running high in their camp - who else, therefore, would dare to release a seven-minute single without a singalong chorus, namely Forever? As the hammond drifts in and out of the sweeping sonic landscape, Burgess articulates his surging self-esteem, asking repeatedly, 'I wonder what you people do with your lives?' With an excellent album like Us And Us Only, Burgess and his mates surely do know what to do with theirs.