Album of the week: In Your Own Sweet Time by The Fratellis
From the jerky, effervescent bounce of the opening track and recent single Stand-Up Tragedy, the Glaswegian trio have crafted a record brimming with instantly hummable choruses and witty, slightly risqué lyrics.
The summery-sounding Star-Crossed Lovers with its brilliant “Romeo, Romeo” chorus is an almost-perfect slice of modern indie pop; Sugartown a little gem of 50s-inspired whimsy while Told You So has an inspired, fuzzy guitar refrain that recalls the theme from the 1970s Adam Faith series Budgie, of all things.
As for The Next Time We Wed – a witty re-imagining of a more perfect marriage next time round – it’s the sort of song Squeeze would kill for.
Kim Wilde: Here Come The Aliens (Wildeflower Records) 3*
Kim Wilde’s first album since 1992 comes wrapped in a pulp-style, science fiction sleeve, its title apparently inspired by some huge lights that she saw flashing in the night sky a few years ago.
Thirty-seven years on from her debut single Kids In America, Wilde’s surprisingly powerful pop voice still bubbles over with enthusiasm and a certain sly wit, from the opening 1969 – a glorious concoction of furious riffing, poppy synths and Wilde’s cry of: “They’re after me!”
Pop Don’t Stop, a duet with her brother and producer Ricky, Kandy Krush and Stereo Shot mines a similar, radio-friendly vein before the echoey Solstice reminds us that she’s a decent ballad singer too.
The Decemberists: I’ll Be Your Girl (Rough Trade) 2*
One of the more enigmatic indie bands, Portland’s Decemberists had, up to this eighth album, been adept at knitting together spooky folk, sing-along pop and gorgeously insidious melodies.
But in search of a new sound, vaguely referencing Roxy Music and New Order, and with a fresh producer (John Congleton) at the controls, it’s all gone slightly awry.
Cutting Stone, showcasing Colin Meloy’s beautiful, warbling vocals, is agreeably strange and haunting, and a closing epic Rusalka, Rusalka/The Wild Rushes is impressively melodramatic.
In between, though, are some of the lamest Decemberists tracks to date (Everything Is Awful, Sucker’s Prayer): repetitive, uninspired and, on We All Die Young, downright clunky.
It is surely only a one-album blip but hugely disappointing all the same.
All CDs released this Friday
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