'A wonderful breath of fresh air for Britpop fans'
Catherine Elliott
15:03 4th February 2013

So it’s that time again when footy fan favourites The Courteeners unleash a new album upon the world, with more bravado and pride in its build up than the last. Their last album, Falcon was released almost three years ago, and with ANNA’s leading single ‘Lose Control’ sounding good, we can only hope that front man Liam Fray’s unrelenting mouth will have been accurate.

Fray regularly gets into public slanging matches with other bands, much like the Gallaghers, both of which hail from Manchester. It’s obvious Oasis are a BIG influence for the band.

However, The Courteeners are in the running as one of the best contemporary Britpop bands, this is not art-rock, it’s man-rock. A belief Fray is very verbal about. Opener ‘Are You In Love With A Notion’ instantly resonates and wows, and ‘Van De Graaff’ will be a wonderful breath of fresh air for Britpop fans.

Each of the first five tracks has its own charm. The lyrics are so relatable (so many are not these days) that they carry a very strong sense of story and sentiment. It’s anthemic, stadium sized rock n roll, something the band seem relentless to conquer. ‘When You Want Something You Can’t Have’ is the closest ANNA gets to a ballad, and the beauty of the lyrics is touching.

After the first five tracks however, the album does take a bit of a nosedive. It’s bizarre - like a straight split, and one wonders if they had just changed the tracks around a bit, maybe we wouldn’t have noticed as much. The soaring of Blur and Oasis has for the most part, been completely present in The Courteeners’ last three albums so they can be forgiven for having a couple of dud tracks. Maybe stadiums won’t be on the cards this time guys, but sold out academys will no doubt be yours.

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