Tim Burgess - ‘I Believe’ (PIAS)
18 Jan 2004
debut-lp from iconic, charlies frontman; release - '03.
Milky Bar Kid sartorial elegance becomes Tim Burgess. So, apparently, does Californian sunshine.
Packing away the grit and swagger and leaving it behind with The Charlatans, this solo debut is a reflective and, would you believe it, happy, affair.
So don't be fooled by the shady nightspot sax of the opening bars, for the country and western 'Held In Straps' and 'Years Ago' display the musings of a content and carefree soul, simultaneously marking Burgess out as both a gifted solo-artist and a man with a few cunningly disguised tricks up the sleeve.
Oh, and the sound of a man with gee-tar, hat, boots and a capital Prozac. Plus that familiar falsetto is still there, as is the northern soul, but amidst the dusty blues, trumpets and harmonica, any influences that would betray him as a Charlatan are indistinguishable.
The saccharine positivity of it all can be overwhelming at times, and with the concerns that made The Charlatans accessible and relevant to the disheartened masses far forgotten, this offering shows the lighter side to Burgess' songwriting. But even after listening and revelling amidst it, you cannot help but hope silver lightening will bring Burgess back home.