Album review: Courteeners - Anna

Courteeners - Anna

Courteeners - Anna - Credit: Archant

The Rochdale indie-rockers’ latest flounders, softened by synths and slack songwriting

Liam Fray’s wry lyricism, heavily accented singing and emotive delivery were hallmarks of the Courteeners’ vibrant debut St Jude.

But the lead single on this third effort, Lose Control, is a deflatingly uninspiring melody saddled with distracting synths and beefy, milkshake-smooth production.

It’s no isolated incident either, with a sluggish feel to much of the LP that drowns out, or at least distracts from, what was once a key strength.

There is now precious little evidence of Fray’s pithy lines, plays on words and lightly brusque delivery that initially impressed. A more tempered, transatlantic atmosphere is the (probably intended) result, but not for the better.

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Even the peppy mid-set Welcome To The Rave, packed with squiggly synth notes and pounding drum, feels a bit hollow.

It’s not offensively bad, but little stands out, leaving the feeling that a promising commentator has lost his punch in a soup of mediocre melody, oohs, ahhs and steroid-enhanced production.

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2 stars

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