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After their first album 'Costello Music' achieved phenomenal success in 2006 and spawned an array of hit singles such as "Chelsea Dagger", "Whistle For The Choir" and "Baby Fratelli", the Scottish trio returned in 2008 with their second album 'Here We Stand'. Could they achieve the same success of their first album or were they to suffer the second album curse that so affect so many indie bands.
The 12 track album contains everything you'd expect from a Fratelli's album, guitars, big choruses, melodies and cheeky and often naughty lyrics. However, have they improved from the first album? Here's a track by track review.
"My Friend John" is the opening song on the album, personally it's a bit dissapointing and does not bode well for what the rest of the album sounds like. The opening line "If you were a shape, what shape would you be?" is a kind of 'What the hell?' moment. The verses are somewhat better than the flat and weak chorus. 5/10
"A Heady Tale" - Now this is more like it, classic Fratallis. This is a fast paced catchy pop number. The song makes use of the piano more so than a guitar on this, which makes it stand out I guess. 9/10.
"Shameless" - This is another example of a classic Fratellis track, 'Shameless' has that heavy guitar sound and big chorus. Everything about the song is Fratelli. 8/10.
"Look Out Sunshine!" - Very VERY simmilar to 'Shameless'. Guitar-pop and a fantastic and somewhat anthemic chorus. Be aware that this song does use the rudest word of them all in here though. This is definatily one of my favourite songs on the album. Play this one with the volume turned up! 10/10.
"Stragglers Moon" - A bit of a slower kind of song here, but not really a ballad. The lyrics "And then you're out there digging holes again, six million people can't be wrong" are probably the best part of the song. I don't really know how to describe this song. I do like it and wouldn't call it a filler but it's just THERE. 7/10.
"Mistress Mabel" - This was the first single to be lifted off the album and to me, seems an odd choice and probably why this lead to the album not selling as much as the first one. It's bland, it's not catchy enough and should have been left as an album track. It's sad that this song was picked as a the lead single instead of "Look Out Sunshine" as things may have turned out very differently the other way around 5/10.
"Jesus Stole My Baby" - Another dissapointing song. This song was left off the album in some countries due to the somewhat offending title. It should have been left off the album altogether as it's that bad. Pointless filler 2/10.
"Babydoll" - Things seem to be picking up again, "Babydoll" is a guitar-y mid tempo pop song. Just what the albums needs after the last two dissapointing songs 8/10.
"Tell Me A Lie" - Another one of the weaker tracks on the album. "Tell Me a Lie" is a shouty indie track. There's a story behind it but that still doesn't reel me in. Just a filler 6/10.
"Acid Jazz Singer" - Same kind of song as Babydoll, mid-paced but a beautiful 'flow' about it. The chorus is perfect and is one of the highlights on the album 9/10.
"Lupe Brown" - Who's Lupe Brown? I don't know. But what I do know is that this is the best song on the album. They've waited towards the end of the album to pull this out the bag and i'm impressed. It's mind-blowing and remains an undiscovered gem. I reccomend anybody to check this song out. Perfect pop 10/10.
"Milk and Money" - The closing track is a ballad, but it does go a bit 'wild' towards the end of the song. A good way to close off the album 8/10.
Although not necessarily a bad album, The Fratelli's know how to write a fantastic song (Look Out Sunshine, Lupe Brown), however, some of the other songs let down the album (Jesus Stole My Baby) and even then the songs are not really that bad, it's just my personal opinion as I prefer the songs that have heavy guitars and a whopping melody. It's a shame the album was dominated by a poor choice for lead single as many people were put off buying it based on hearing Mistress Mabel. However, there are many better songs on there so I would reccomend this album for sure.
When it comes to bands that seemed to gain national success over night The Fratellis managed just that in Britain and their debut album "Costello Music" was arguably the best British album of 2006 featuring a host of hugely successful tracks. Though when it came to their follow up album in 2008 a lot was expected from the Paisley based trio who had left a "fun filled indie feel" in the hearts of many music lovers with tracks like "Chelsea Dagger", "Henrietta" and "Vince the loveable stoner". A lot, is often too much to ask for in music where a second album is usually a relative flop, especially when the debut was a sensation.
For those who aren't aware of The Fratellis, the band were formed in the relatively downtrodden town of Paisley in the Scottish central belt between 2 brothers and a friend in 2005, the following year they released the massively successful "Costello Music" to relatively high spread acclaim. In fact the success of the album and the singles from it saw the band reaching #2 in the British album chart and having 2 top 10 singles (and 3 in the top 20). The bands had a fun filled repertoire of tracks that mixed both in jokes that only locals might get, to just a really fun filled "drunk students" type music that often set off the local student union in rafters of sing alongs.
So fast forward 2 years to the release of "Here We Stand" released through out the world in June of 2008 on the back of the release of "Mistress Mabel" a song that seemed to sound like a left over of the first album. A fast paced and fun sounding song that seemed to be the sort of thing that would keep the fans of the first album waiting for more with the release of the album 2 months later. Sadly for many who bought the album expecting more of the same they seemed to be let down. The album starts with "Here we Stand" and the opening line "If you were a shape, what shape would you be?". The song it's self is "fine" though lacks the raw "fun" energy of the previous album, it feels a much more polished track in fact it seems overly polished. Sadly this over production seems to continue through much of the album "A Heady Tale" the albums second track seems a rather tepid affair on the whole, with nothing really that exceptional to write home about.
By the time you eventually get to "Mistress Mabel" (which is track 6) your half way into it, and almost certainly disappointed, the fast paced fun indie rock has been replaces by over produced, slow and rather dull sounding tracks that have all the life of a mortuary to them. Thankfully "Mistress Mabel" and "Jesus Stole My baby" (track 7) actually seem to give the album a solid middle. Although "Jesus Stole My Baby" isn't the fast paced raw sound it is a clever listen to, though should serve as a slower track on a fast album.
On track that does stand out is "Tell Me A Lie" which seems much more like the stuff fans of the band will recognise with a much more raw and fun sound like the previous album. It seems like the band FINALLY realised they were going to be alienating their fans and tried to do something to keep them onside. "Acid Jazz Singer" (track 10) has a tightly that wouldn't feel out of place in the track listing of the previous album and yet oddly sounds more like a track from an Oasis album than perhaps it should do though with more fun to it than an Oasis track.
Sadly the seems to end better than it starts and "Lupe Brown" further solidifies the fact that the album IS worth listening to, though it's actually only the latter half of the album thats fun to listen to. And in fact it actually ends on a high note with the clever and soft "Milk and Honey" a track that feels out of placed though is nice, and a piano heavy type of track allows the vocal to take charge in a nice ending track.
It seems a shame that the band wasted 5 songs of a 12 track album to really find their feet and again the album serves as proof that the second album is always much more difficult than the first.
Well i'd like to tell you that the Fratellis have returned with an album just as fresh and exciting as there first (Costello Music), but im affaid i cant. Although there newest offering may not be a match for there outstanding debut it still has it good points. Track one 'My Friend John' starts promissingly with a raw rock and roll guitar intro which stays strong through-out, and with a bouncy and catchy opening verse its seems like its going to be quite a good opener but unfortunately for me the chorus lets it down. Track two however is fantastic song from start to finish with a really catchy piano riff that will have you taping you feet for nearly five minutes. From track three to six are all quite average indie rock songs none of which are bad but theres not alot to shout about either, but then track seven kicks in and that raw sound is back. Not to say that this album is massively over produced, but it has to be said that the fratellis are at there best when they've got that unpredictable exciting sound. Track eight 'baby doll' has a more indie/country sound and is possibly the weakest song on the album. Track nine is a much heavier song which steps the quality up again to lead into track ten 'acid jazz singer' the second best song on the album in my opinion. 'lupe brown' track eleven is another average song but then the real jewel on the album the last track 'milk and money' is fantastic, as good as anything off the first album. So although its not a great album it is still a good album and deffinately worth £2.98!
Ok first off I'll give you a run down of my favourite songs off this album
(1) My Friend John is a great opener, the guitar work is great, as soon as the vocals come in its clear that this is classic Fratellis.
(4) Look Out Sunshine! is probably my favourite song off this album, the lyric are great and it's a very catchy song. The chorus is great.
(5) Stragglers Moon don't be fooled by the repetitive intro this grows into a great song.
(6) Mistress Mabel is the first single released off this album. Definitely one of the best songs off the album but even though its still not as good as the better songs off their first album. The chorus is very good on this song.
(8) Babydoll is a great song and is definitely one of the better songs off this album. Its one of those songs that gets stuck in your head.
This is a good second album and it has been said that the second album is the hardest to make especially if the first one was so good as theirs was-Costello Music. This album isn't that popular or maybe people don't know about it but I don't see why as it is a good album especially if you like The Fratellis.
Here we stand was the second album from the band the fratellis and was released in 2008. They had already been hugely successful with their first album Costello music and so the pressure was somewhat on them to release another brilliant album in here we stand.
The album kicks off with the track my friend john, it gets the album off to a good start. it's a good lyrical song and its sung brilliantly, its not as fast as some of their songs in the past have been but it manages to keep its pace well throughout.
Baby doll is something that I have never heard the fratellis do before. And that is an acoustic song. Most of their other material is very fast paced, electrically charged music so it was strange to hear this one but its very well written, very relaxed and it really works, one of my favourite songs off the album.
Another one of my favourite songs off the album is a heady tale, its also another slow song off the album but yet again what sacrificed in the energetic ness off the instruments is gained in lyrics and it turns into a quite pacey song none the less and is a great song.
My Friend John
A Heady Tale
Look Out Sunshine
Jesus Stole My Baby
Tell Me A Lie
Acid Jazz Singer
Milk & Money
This album from the band clearly takes on a bit of a different style form their first. In fact it couldn't be much different really, much more relaxed songs which should mean I hate it, but the lyrics and the singing is so much better than the first album so it kind of works, however I'm not sure there's enough great songs on this album to make it better than their first album.
"Here we Stand" is the second album released by the Fratellis in 2008. The album is effectively more of the same, in a positive way, carrying on from the immensely successful debut album "Costello Music". "Here we stand" was released on 9th June 2008 in the UK and despite some negative reviews from critics the album reached number five in the UK Albums Charts in June 2008.
The song "Tell Me a Lie" was used in the soundtrack for the football (soccer) game FIFA 09. "Tell Me A Lie" was also the featured track on bebo. Included on the album are tremendous songs, some of which include "Acid Jazz Singer", "A Heady Tale", "Babydoll" and the amusingly named "Jesus Stole My Baby". The album is full of excellent guitar solos and special recognition also must be given to the track "Milk and Money" which personifies the rise and rise of the Fratellis in the UK and further afield.
Here We Stand is the second studio offering from Glasgow rockers 'The Fratellis' and follows their uber-successful debut album 'Costello Music.'
The Fratellis are a three-piece band made up of vocalist and guitarist Jon 'Fratelli', bassist Barry 'Fratelli' and the drummer Mince 'Fratelli'. The drummer is also part-time banjo/backing guitar player and sings the band's backing vocals.
The album was released in June 2008 and it's first single 'Mistress Mabel' peaked at number 23 in the UK charts.
=== The Album ===
[Track 1 - My Friend John]
The album starts with a strange philosophical soundbite, of a northern man asking 'If you were a shape, what shape would you be?' Then a great guitar riff breaks in and the album really races out of the traps. The rest of the melody is good and fits the song perfectly. This song is a kind of murky yet energetic style of rock and its lyrics occasionally drift into abstract. The structure of the song and the periodic changes in the guitar keep it fresh right up to the end and I'm quite impressed with the first song.
[Track 2 - A Heady Tale]
A much mellower start, a piano and bit of tapping on the cymbals. The vocals are much more dominant despite being more restrained than in the first track. The song is less intimidating than the first and will probably appeal to a wider range of people although it lacks a little of the first song's character. The chorus has a cheery tempo and is probably the best part of the song and works quite well with the piano.
[Track 3 - Shameless]
The guitar is less cleaner than the last song and the album seems to have returned to its rocky persona from the first track. The verses aren't special but the chorus has a very distinctive quality that just makes it so appealing to listen to. The way it begins just announces the arrival of the song's hook and whilst the chorus is nothing remarkable, I can't help but feel the vibe.
[Track 4 - Look Out Sunshine]
This is the album's second single, although it didn't place too high in the UK chart, only achieving a maximum position of 70. The tempo is slow and laboured, the lyrics delivered slowly, although also I have to admit they are coherent and as a result, its easier to understand what the song is about. Not exactly memorable, but the song has its appeal and is not to be sold short. Not the best yet but I've heard thousands of songs worse than this one. The nature of this song reminds me of 'Whistle For The Choir' from the first Fratellis album.
[Track 5 - Stragglers Moon]
The guitar is slow and penetrating, and I think the banjo is given a run out but it's hard to tell. There is an interesting synth behind the chorus. The pace is quite slow but the song is more centred on its atmosphere and the lyrics. The lyrics themselves are very good, they feel cryptic and dastardly and the little instrumental touches on the song really give it personality. It fades out with a solitary drum beat and a twanging guitar, which fades then rises to introduce the next track.
[Track 6 - Mistress Mabel]
This song was the first and so far, most successful single off the album although I'm not a big fan of it. The song is typically quite chart-friendly rock with a few whoops and quite a simple formula for it's structure. The piano is decent in the background and the song does have a good break in it for the drums and guitars to go crazy for a bit. I think the lyrics are my main problem here, they are a bit simple and belong in the pop charts.
[Track 7 - Jesus Stole My Baby]
This is a very typical song from the Fratellis. Slightly comical lyrics but very dry and intentional. The song itself is a quite grungy rock, with a lethargic pace and a gruff-sounding guitar. It's good at thee start but begins to wear a bit thin as the track progresses so its a good job that the lyrics break for a rather bizarre harmonca solo although this in my opinion is not enough to save the track from being a little tiresome.
[Track 8 - Babydoll]
The guitar is upbeat and acoustic standing alone for the first few lines until a soft electric bassline comes to back it up. A very pleasant song with a more unique side to it than most of the others. A lot less rock to be found here, the drums stay at a quick, swaying pace and surprising the song retains it's composure and sticks with this approach right up to the end. The bass takes more of a front seat later in the track and leads it out as well but the whole song is a catchy acoustic number.
[Track 9 - Tell Me A Lie]
Back to the gritty rock intro and mostly uses this attitude throughout, although the song is punctuated by a couple of rapid burst of tempo and a complete change in the song, although this is all built upon the slow heavy rock stylings of the intro. A decent song, but not one of the best on the album.
[Track 10 - Acid Jazz Singer]
Starts with a very mellow guitar and Jon Fratelli taking the spotlight for a few bars, then the guitar comes in with the sort of country Scottish guitar that only the Fratellis can seem to pull off. The lyrics are great and some of the album's best and very remsiniscent of the band's debut album. It's not the softest trak on the single but it rarely reaches heavy levels, only a few well-placed background guitar riffs. One of the album's stronger tracks altogether.
[Track 11 - Lupe Brown]
The album seems to have atured by this point and the songs seem much calmer. Still punchy instrumentally so it's inkeeping with the theme but the pace and attitude of the songs has dropped a notch but I think I prefer what's left. About halfway through the songs drums pick up however and the album proves its not finished yet, the same elements to the song, just a bit more energy in places at the end of this track. The guitar is allowed to run free for the last minute or so of the song until it gradually disappears.
[Track 12 - Milk And Money]
Such a mellow and slow song, guitar is intially, barely noticeable compared to the paino. The drummer only has to really wake up after about a minute. The song picks up pace behind the piano after a while and the lyrics vanish. This quite suits a final song though and serves to wrap the album up nicely. The song returns to the mellow piano melodies of the beginning and the album fades to a finish.
=== Overall ===
The album is a competent release and doesn't really have any poor tracks. Even my less favourite ones are preferable to most of the garbage on the radio. 'here we Stand' is a very consistent album and probably does itself more justice when listened to as a full album. The individual tracks all have something going for them but it is a bit of a shame that there are no energy-filled, thumping rock tunes such as there were on the first album. Song along the same lines as 'Henrietta' and 'Chelsea Dagger' from the first album are not found on this second release. The albums strongest and best songs tend to be the more chilled out ones, sadly, there aren't many proper anthems on this album.
That's not to say its poor, or even ,ediocre. The Fratellis are a talented and musical bunch whilst I would probably give it 3.5 Stars out of 5, I will have to give it 4 Stars because it's worthy of more than just three. Fratellis fans should be pleased by this album.
Ok so, I've been a Fratellis fan ever since they first came out, they we're the first indie band I really took notice. In this album you can tell that the 'Fratellis Sound' has really moved on from the happy bouncing tunes like 'Chelsea Dagger' and onto something with more drive in the music. All the songs seem to have a story behind them, from Jesus to the Circus. A lot of the songs on this album have a Beatles sound to them which really suits the album. To be honest, this album isn't better than 'Costello Music' but it is on the same level, it's equally as good.
The lyrics, yet again, are fantastic, easily on par with the first album. The happy lyrics are still there and the song are still happy tune. The lyrics compliment the music perfectly, for example:- "Tell Me a Lie" has real driving intro, but the verse melody is like "Creeping up the Backstairs". It's a fantastic combination. Jon's voice has really developed since the last album and it's got a lot stronger, this can be heard in songs like "Look out Sunshine" and "A Heady Tale."
I think it compares to the first album in the fact that it isn't as bouncy as the first album but the sound is still there, it's just developed. The best songs on the album are 'Tell me a lie', 'My friend john' and a lovely acoustic number from Jon: 'Babydoll'. I love the songs, they're just different too all the other usual indie stuff. The only thing I don't like is that I miss the 'bouncieness' of the songs. If it got broke or anything like that, I would definitely buy it again or copy it from my friends.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 My Friend John
2 A Heady Tale
4 Look Out Sunshine!
5 Stragglers Moon
6 Mistress Mabel
7 Jesus Stole My Baby
8 Baby Doll
9 Tell Me A Lie
10 Acid Jazz Singer
11 Lupe Brown
12 Milk & Money