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Take the medicine!,
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This review is from: We Need Medicine (Amazon Exclusive Signed Version) (Audio CD)
After a five year hiatus, The Fratellis are back and sounding as irresistible as ever. For those of us who kept up to date with Jon's solo album and the Codeine Velvet Club album (both of which are excellent), it almost feels as if they haven't been away, but it's certainly good to have the original band back together and their third album is a continuation of their upbeat, feel-good, high-energy indie rock, which still contains more hooks than you can shake the proverbial stick at. The opening track, "Halloween Blues" gets the album off to a decent start, but it is when the immensely catchy second track, "This Old Ghost Town" kicks in does "We Need Medicine" really start to show its brilliance. "She's Not Gone But She's Leaving" has a fantastic minor key groove and is one of those instantly likeable compositions that you're singing along to before the end of the song on the first listen. "Jeannie Nitro" is another one of my favourites from the album, as is the title track which, despite the simplicity of the melody and chord sequence, is just an absolute joy to listen to.
"We Need Medicine" doesn't re-invent the band and certainly doesn't feature any massive change in direction or sound, but neither is it tired nor clichéd. It's certainly not a more "mature sound" either. Simply put, it is another album's worth of well-written, uncomplicated, highly enjoyable songs which makes it a third successive terrific Fratellis album... and releasing three very good albums in a row, including a world-beating début, is an achievement not to be downplayed or sneezed at. It almost goes without saying that this isn't a better album than "Costello Music", but that was an album that captured something special at that time and nothing they release is probably ever going to recapture that, but there are a few truly excellent songs on "We Need Medicine" which could have slotted comfortably onto their first album and, thankfully, the rest of the album isn't half bad either. All-in-all there's plenty here to make this a more than worthy purchase and to remind the world that the Fratellis are a lot more than just a couple of great singles from a few years ago, they're actually a rather great band, period.
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Initial post: 25 Nov 2013, 16:56:15 GMT
Andy Sweeney says:
Just a quick postscript that I don't want to add to the body of the review itself: I saw The Fratellis at Shepherds Bush Empire last night and the songs from the new album slot into the Fratellis catalogue perfectly. This really is the third of three excellent albums and any talk of poor sales for this album are down to a dwindling attention span of fans and poor taste, rather than any kind of demise in quality of the band's output - they're as brilliant as they always were.
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