The Fratellis – [Album]

The Fratellis – [Album]

Sunday, 13 September 2015
ARTIST: The Fratellis – [Album]
with free mp3 download for ‘Me and The Devil’ from Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied by The Fratellis
DATE: 09-13-15
REVIEW BY: Bill Adams
ALBUM: Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied
LABEL: Cooking Vinyl/Pheromone

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What’s a band to do when they discover that the “coolness” quotient of the musical trend they rode in on has faded, but they’re not feeling done quite yet? Well, if you’re in The Fratellis, you look for redemption with the help of some more rootsy rhythms and an ever-so-slightly more modest and subdued approach. That’s about what they’ve done on Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied; simply said – just as The Kinks did when they recorded Muswell Hillbillies in 1971, The Fratellis seek to find a new voice and boldly reach in every direction they can think of on their fourth studio album. The results are thoroughly mixed; some tracks aren’t bad and some are a joke, but they do find a few which work marvelously well too.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or not, you’ll find it near impossible to keep your eyebrows from shooting up quizzically as the Baptist revival vibes and tone of “Me And The Devil” try to cook the dust off The Fratellis’ circuitry. There, while a semblance of the soul which was in Jon Fratelli’s voice before remains intact, he has no luck hiding his uncertainty at all as his voice occasionally quivers and quakes through lines like “Well there’s an answer if only I knew/ It would carry my heart home to you/ I’m gonna sell this soul of mine/ And I’ll dig in the dirt for a sign/ And pray to let my little light shine.” It doesn’t even feel like he wants to believe in what he’s confessing himself, and so the song suffers for it. The going does get a little better as “Impostors,” “Baby Don’t You Lie To Me” and “Dogtown” stick to a bold, mid-tempo boogie woogie-ish disposition. The particular standout (and also the greatest departure from the norm for The Fratellis) is “Dogtown”; there, some swaggering Moog lines give the band some oomph and chutzpah that the just don’t have anywhere else – both on this record or any other. All on its own, “Dogtown” offers both an entry and an exit for Fratellis; this could be a sustainable sound that the band could spend entire albums exploring from here on out, if they so choose.

But is the direction that “Dogtown” heads in the one that The Fratellis will choose? There’s no easy way to know because there are plenty of other possible inroads opened on Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied that they may elect to try instead – there’s no way to know for sure. The best listeners will find they’re able to do if they’re sucked in by “Dogtown” or any of the other one-off sonic excursions that the band takes on this album is hope the band feels the same way they do. That could be very frustrating for listeners, but it could also be the bait which sustains the band – listeners are left feeling very much at the band’s mercy as far as what might come after this.


The Fratellis –
Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied – “Me and The Devil” – [mp3]

Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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