The Charlatans UK have always been the precious secret of American Brit-pop fans, an institution in their own homeland -- and this album celebrates the band's B-sides from 1990-1997. With those dates and this album, the listener will travel through baggy, Hammond-laden shoegazer swirls, Brit-pop, and the electronic crossover remix all with the thread of Tim Burgess' sinewy verses and airy chorus melodies (and shakers/tambourines, of course). As an addendum to Melting Pot, the best-of album on Beggars Banquet in 1998, Songs From the Other Side serves as part of the re-evaluation of Brit-pop's legacy in modern music -- a return to rock sensibilities with a new psychedelic, dance-driven tinge that has inspired bands like Doves, B.R.M.C., Starsailor, and many below-the-radar indie bands. "Stir It Up" and "Subterranean" recall the Stone Roses' dreaminess and Oasis' panache and serve as highlights to an album of hereto underlit material. Remixes by Van Basten ("Feel Flows") and the Chemical Brothers ("Nine Acre Dust") do little to reshape the bravado of the band, instead milling in clichéd circles. As the album is arranged chronologically, these dance tracks sandwich material from their 1994 comeback period and the latter track leads listeners into a few misguided attempts at becoming Brit electronica. Hardly a starting point for this long-running group, Songs From the Other Side is either an offering to diehards until the next album or a coupling for the reminiscent Anglophile remembering his/her undergrad days at the Brit-pop dance night.
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AllMusic Review by Daphne Carr