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Celebration, Florida CD

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The Felice Brothers are a close-knit band of two brothers and three longtime friends(all in their twenties). They are self-taught - not one of them played an instrument prior to the band’s inception in 2006 when they started busking in New York City subway stations. The Felice Brothers have released three full-length albums. The majority of their work was recorded in a converted chicken ... Read more in Amazon's The Felice Brothers Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Celebration, Florida + Yonder Is The Clock + Favorite Waitress
Price For All Three: £27.61

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Loose Music
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Fire At The Pageant 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Container Ship 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Honda Civic 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Oliver Stone 5:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ponzi 5:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Back In The Dancehalls 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Dallas [Explicit] 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Cus's Catskill Gym 3:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Refrain 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Best I Ever Had 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. River Jordan [Explicit] 6:30£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

"Celebration, Florida" is The Felice Brothers' fourth LP. Recorded in the gymnasium and theatre of Beacon, NY's old high school, the band explore a multitude of sounds and instrumentation throughout the expansive album. It's inspired, imaginative, heady, menacing, passionate, and rollicking. Most importantly, it's as steadfastly authentic as ever, expanding upon the dark, woozy undercurrent of ramshackle barroom blues, vaudevillian atmospherics, and surreal storytelling of their previous albums

BBC Review

The Felice Brothers, inevitably for an American outfit trading in rootsy, wordy balladry, generally delivered in a belligerent nasal sneer, have become accustomed to being measured against Bob Dylan. Celebration, Florida, the Woodstock group's fifth album, marks the point at which those who've made those comparisons should commingle in a hearty chorus of "Judas!": as never before, The Felice Brothers have gone electric, and other things besides.

A marker for the wilful oddness of Celebration, Florida is thrown down on opening track Fire at the Pageant: one part of its call-and-response chorus is carried by a deliberately atonal children's choir. This departure from The Felice Brothers' familiar template is not, as is made repeatedly clear, an aberration: it is followed by Container Ship, a gloomy noir which sounds like the soundtrack for a horror film set in an abandoned fairground, and Honda Civic, an upbeat New Orleans blues shuffle recalling the demented accordion-led outings of DeVotchKa.

Celebration, Florida is named after a Disney-built new town, an apparent attempt to bring into being the sort of apple pie-munching community mythologized in Disney's output. It looks and sounds approximately akin to Seahaven, the Potemkin setting for The Truman Show; as such, it serves well as an antithetical backdrop to lyrics as disquieting and dissembling as the music. Oliver Stone is not homage to the titular director, but a beautiful Tom Waits-ish, hazy remembrance of things past. Ponzi resembles Dylan only inasmuch as it evokes his (largely) misbegotten 80s output, upping the ante further with a shout-along chorus borrowed from Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall and a keyboard part heisted from Visage. Almost inexplicably, it works.

Celebration, Florida is not an unalloyed triumph. Too much of it commits the common error of mistaking innovation for inspiration - Back in the Dancehalls and Cus's Catskill Gym in particular might have decamped the drawing board somewhat prematurely. At its best and last, however - the epic, funereal closer River Jordan - Celebration, Florida is an engaging diversion down a road which might be worth investigating further.

--Andrew Mueller

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the departure of Simone Felice, there were always going to be changes to the musical direction of the Felice Brothers. This was presaged on their `Mix Tape' album, which was available at gigs and their web site originally. It too was slower and darker than previous offerings. This goes further and darker. It owes more to Tom Waites and even Lou Reed than any country/rock influence, but strangely their roots are still visible or rather audible.

It kicks off with `Fire at the pageant' which has a chorus of kids asking for the noise to stop, and a raucous feel that initially grabs you and then goes into a very introspective number with `Container Ship'. `Honda Civic' is a mix of old and new with a thumping bass line and horns and accordion and I kept thinking, whether it would work `live' or not.

Track 5 `Ponzi' has Simone back with them doing backing vocals as Ian does the majority of the singing here, and most of the time he oozes soul and regret in equal amounts. `Ponzi' is where a paradigm shift takes place as the synths kick in, there is a Visage `Fade to Gray' riff at one point. It is full of club beats and strange twists, but I could still see their fingerprints all over it. I actually said `wow!' the first time I heard it. `Back in the dancehalls is full of driving rhythm and has a fiddle backdrop, that really works.

There are no real barnstormers here or any `Frankie's Gun' type tales. These are deeper and darker; track 7 reminded me of `Ambulance Man' from `Yonder is the clock', with its laconic brooding. There is no lyric sheet, but as ever the vocals are so clear that you won't need them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John W. Edelman VINE VOICE on 15 Nov 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is really good stuff. From the opening discordant, rumbling, gothic, Fire At The Pageant to the brutal but beautiful closer, River Jordan, you're in for a roller coaster ride that fires your imagination and fills your mind with images and feelings that few other albums of recent times (or any other, come to that) can elicit. This is a piece of work that works best if listened to in one go, preferably in the evening with the lights out. It's a journey which provides the same satisfaction and ticks all the same boxes as films such as 2001 or works like Amarok (Mike Oldfield). Having read the other reviews I think I am lucky in that I have no prior experience of The Felice Brothers- I was introduced by the brilliant sampler album from Loose Records and therefore have no idea whether the first tracks are different to or not as good as their old stuff or not. I just know that this is a wonderfully eclectic collection of brilliant tunes.
All this and a bit of "Fade To Grey" (well, almost) what more could you ask for?!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bungliemutt on 23 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Felice Borthers, perhaps tired of endless Basement Tapes comparisons, clearly intended for their fourth album to try something a little different. In that intention, they have certainly succeeded, but the result is only partially successful. Darker sounding than earlier material, especially on songs like 'River Jordan' which closes the album, Celebration Florida is by no means an easy or comfortable listen. The intention to experiment frequently leads to a curious amalgam of styles that doesn't always quite work, from the bizarre synths of 'Back In The Dancehalls' that sound like offcuts from OMD, to the cacophanous 'Honda Civic', with its industrial sounding kitchen sink approach.

While there is nothing wrong with being loud and raucous, Celebration Florida frequently loses its sense of stringing a good tune together by chucking too much at each one, or, as in the case of 'Best I Ever Had' of Ian Felice's vocals simply not being in tune at all. Such an approach, where the desire to convey a narrative outstrips the underlying melody is a tough one to pull off, as demonstrated many times by Richmond Fontaine who often only just manage it. On several of the songs here, industrial clatter and drum loops detract from, rather than enhance the material. When compared to the two albums released by Simone Felice with The Duke And The King, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that The Felice Brothers are the poorer musically for his departure.

Celebration Florida is a brave attempt from the band to move forward in a positive new direction, and the album is undoubtedly brimful of ideas and experiments.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
3.5 stars

Following three great albums of robust Americana which saw the Felice Brothers pick up the mantle of the Band and develop it in new directions it was imperative for the band to take a different fork in the road. Their last album "Yonder is the clock" was a mix of drama and high jinx's containing songs as varied as the barnstorming "Run chicken run" to the gentle sadness of "Boy from Lawrence County". It was a minor classic but it also marked a conclusion to the bands first phase of development and you sensed that more experimentation would follow. And here it is in spades in the form of their fourth album "Celebration Florida" a very dark and troubling album that by any standards does not "jump off the page" upon first listens. Indeed after repeated listens it turns out to be an album than is much easier to admire than love, scoring high on atmosphere but somewhat poorly on accessibility. One review has already described it as the band "weakest set of songs" but persist since there is more here than meets the eye.

It's not that the songs are weak it's just that on times they are just too cluttered and need to be reigned in. Opener "Fire at the pageant" starts with a tight stringed guitar and a throaty vocal from Ian Felice who is joined by a gang of shouting children. Their role is to loudly advise on the chorus that "everybody calm down and please stop shouting' to accompaniment of loud bangs and industrial clattering in the background. It's all very clever but as a song how often will you return to it? Much better is the ghostly Tom Waits like "Container ship" which almost incorporates a hip hop beat and gently rolls out to a mix of haunting piano and synths.
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