In December of 2006, I bloviated thusly:
"Scottish trio THE FRATELLIS play an energetic style of glam/pop/punk that evokes everyone from THE BEATLES to THE POGUES; BLUR to SUPERGRASS."
By year's end, I'd slotted their debut album, COSTELLO MUSIC, in at #12 on my internationally-famous & influential Top Albums list (leading to an increase in their CD sales of something like 0.00003%) (still waiting for my cut, guys!).
So, here comes the reckoning. Album #2. Progression, regression, or stasis? Artistic reinvention or entrenchment? New-and-improved "2.0" or dime-a-dozen "sophomore slump"?
Well... guess I'd have to go with... "a slight regression." The new CD, HERE WE STAND, simply isn't as front-and-center catchy as its predecessor. It's not as much fun. I'm not sure that the Fratellis are trading in their hooks in an effort to seem more "mature" or "meaningful" (a la U2, BOY -> OCTOBER). More likely, in attempting to stretch themselves (and be less musically influenced by their musical influences), they've simply neglected to pay proper homage to the gods of harmony, melody, etc.
This story is not new. And there's certainly no need or reason to fret. These lads are young yet; they still have plenty of time to figure out how they're supposed to sound -- today, tomorrow, and in YouTube perpetuity. (And hey, that third U2 LP turned out just fine, so there's that then, too.)
THE FRATELLIS on MySPACE.
From the LP HERE WE STAND, 2008 >>>
[MP3] "My Friend John"
From the LP COSTELLO MUSIC, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "For the Girl"
[MP3] "Whistle for the Choir"