The Courteeners - Concrete Love - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Courteeners - Concrete Love

by Nse Ette Rating:8 Release Date:2014-08-25

'White Horses' is the opening cut on Manchester band The Courteeners' fourth album, Concrete Love, and it is a bombastic rocker with stomping beats, far removed from earlier poppier fare like the Franz Ferdinand-aping 'You Overdid It Doll' from 2010's Falcon, or the jangly, Smiths-style 'Not Nineteen Forever' off their debut, St. Jude.

'How Good It Was' is a propulsive jet of a song with lead vocalist Liam Fray giving a deadpan, lower register delivery. Produced again by Joe Cross, the sound is bigger and more widescreen, from the Springsteen-esque 'Has He Told You That He Loves You Yet'; the insanely catchy 'Black & Blue' (with a lovely guitar intro and a deliberately languid delivery from Fray, sharply contrasting with the frenetic beats and angular guitars); 'Next Time You Call' (a groovy bassline and plenty of "Ooh baby, I hate your love"); the charming, retro-sounding and fittingly titled 'Summer' (with strummed guitars and dreamy harmonies), and 'Saboteur' (which I can hear Duran Duran doing) being standouts.

The closing pair of 'Dreamers' and 'Beautiful Head' drag the album down somewhat but are by no means dreadful. Slowing things down are 'Small Bones', peppered with horns over a marching beat, and the Mohammed Ali name-checking 'International' ("In principle, I'm invincible").

Nothing groundbreaking, just good songs, and sometimes that is enough. If they are looking for more songs to match their now stadium-sized performances, they have got a few on here.

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