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Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Felice Brothers - An Overdue Celebration, 10 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Favorite Waitress (Audio CD)
You live with some albums over time which may stand neglected for ages only to be replayed over and over a few years later upon discovering a lost classic. Others you try relentlessly to fathom consumed with the passion that at some point the album will reveal itself, but it never does. The Felice Brothers last album was the synth heavy "Celebration Florida" and sadly it fell into the later category, it was an album easier to admire than love.

Four years later the Felice Brothers return with a new album "Favourite Waitress" (2012's rambunctious "God Bless you amigo" was essentially a excellent mop up exercise). There is not a synth in sight and in a wry mea culpa Ian Felice has stated "We just wanted to make sure that no one would ever mistake us for a folk band ever again". "Favourite Waitress" is the closest album the band have released thus far which resembles their great live act and it is all the better for it. In the first three opening tracks alone there are two songs which rival Felice classics like "Roll on Arte" and "The Boy from Lawrence Country". The opener "Bird on Broken wing" starts with a dog barking whose scale is probably higher than Ian Felice's wonderful guttural voice. It is a woozy old song with a chorus to sing at the top of your voice following a week's quota of alcohol units partaken in an evening and it signals a startling return to form. Even better is "Meadow of Dream" known at their concerts as "Butch Cassidy". It is great lament with the band doing that tight/loose backdrop at which they are past masters and Ian Felice singing "I heard that long factory whistle blow/I did my dishes then I threw them out the window/Give me the good old box car by the sea/With the birds and the bats the bees and the cats and me". More "traditional' style Felice songs also populate the album which will swiftly become live staples. These include the thrilling fun of "Cherry Licorice", the pounding folk rock of "Lion" and the quiet loud dynamics of "Katie Cruel". The albums blend of rock, roots, and country makes it a relatively straightforward listen but it is not without its challenges. "Constituents" for example starts with a ghostly organ and is a dark ode about the "politics of war" that hovers like a hangover after a breezy session. "No Trouble" is a hard luck ballad with a great vocal, whilst "Chinatown" grows and grows on every play. Finally the rocking "Woman Next Door" almost sounds like the Clash, a band whose ethic of passion and commitment for music, the Felice Brothers fully share.

It hard to describe the lift this album has given after the frustration of the last album where the individual elements struggled to work as a whole. "Favourite Waitress" is a more coherent and rounded affair packed full to the rafters with great songs and almost cheekily daring you to press that download button. Please don't resist the Felice Brothers.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jun 2014 10:42:50 BDT
Angel Delta says:
Thanks RoB. As ever, a great review.

Posted on 13 Jun 2014 12:06:54 BDT
Bungliemutt says:
God Bless You Amigo was rather good, but this is a welcome return to what the band do best. Top notch review, as ever.

Posted on 13 Jun 2014 13:16:43 BDT
Ignore the no comment,review very good unlike my pressing of buttons

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 21:42:53 BDT
Burma Shane says:
Great review RoB. Caught them live in Dublin the other night. Great show and the new songs were great. After listening to the cd 3 or 4 times now I agree that it is possibly their finest yet.
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