Thursday, February 25

Second Time Lucky

So all the way back in the year 2008 when Manchester endeavoured to pitch us its latest strive in converting the lager lads, all went wrong when the cover boys' debut album turned out to be, well, not that good. So just imagine my out-and-out shock after listening to 'Falcon', the second offering from Liam Fray and company, aka The Courteeners.

Not shock 'cause it blows even further than the first. But shock 'cause it really doesn't. Like, really, really doesn't. 'The Opener' gets things going via a tasteful five-minute mount of oozy strums and acceptable admissions of Manc love ("I miss the city I love but I've been having an affair with LA and New York, Dundee and Doncaster if I may dare").

Meanwhile, 'Sycophant' sees Fray get somewhat steamed up, yelling, "You're seen everywhere in town, but you're never with a friend. You know everybody's name, you're the king of pretend". And the silvery pop is still very much there, all rooted in a lather of comely piano and steadfast guitar.

'Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips' carries on the almost Manics-gung-honess, and on the eve of Best Track On Here 'Last Of The Ladies', which truly is about as pretty as they come. In short, 'Falcon' is puffed-up without the cockiness. It's charming minus the sappiness. And it's angry and reflective all the same.

God knows what went down, but there's way more to The Courteeners than first signalled. Liam hums in 'The Opener': "I've been away I've been working, but now I'm back I need to know if you're still there, and I need to know if you still care." You know what? I really do.

DLThe Courteeners 'Last Of The Ladies', though buy it from iTunes if you want it!