Having followed in the footsteps of fellow Mancunians Oasis and The Stone Roses in headlining at Heaton Park, The Courteeners are now on the campaign trail for their fifth album in eight years - an impressive work ethic by any standards. They'll be touring the UK and Europe in the coming months, before their crusade to play every possible venue in Manchester sees them at the cricket ground in May 2017.
Quick to get out of the blocks, 'Lucifer's Dreams' is an energetic rock piece that begins the album in energetic fashion and will slot in nicely to the band's live show. 'Kitchen' nods to Prince and features the best music-related reference to domestic chores since Freddie Mercury did the vacuuming, while a chirpy festival romance informs 'No One Will Ever Replace Us'. It's not the last time that the band produce a breezy or upbeat cut, with 'Tip Toes' and particularly the fuzzy 'Modern Love' providing energy and hooks that defy the Autumnal weather in which they are released.
Defying any suggestions that they are purely a 'lad band', The Courteeners have consistently provided more tender moments during their catalogue and this release adds to that. 'De La Salle' is a string-laden piece that interestingly muses on how historical figures would cope in modern life, while 'Important Thing' will no doubt be used by many to apologise to their disgruntled partners. Perhaps most touching is 'Finest Hour', on which Fray gives his most vulnerably performance to date - you just hope the poor bloke finds happiness, though his misery makes for some great music. Amongst this he blends the landscapes of his hometown and Paris, making for songs that are engaging lyrically and sonically. It makes for a strong case for The Courteeners to be seen as amongst the elite in British music.
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