The Fratellis
Costello Music


4.0
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
October 8th, 2008 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The FUNtellis deliver an attention-getting debut album that overcomes the trio's limitations by being infectious, vibrant & just darn fun.

Scottish trio The Fratellis give you any number of reasons to dislike them. To begin with, they have decided to use the unnecessary gimmick of all having the stage surname of Fratelli. They are not exactly the most original band on Earth and their arguably repetitive and simple music sees them struggle when attempting variety. Furthermore, the lyrics contained within their songs occasionally verge on the ridiculous and contain a little too many Kaiser Chief-like "la la las" and "do do doos".

Why then, is it so difficult to dislike The Fratellis? The answer can be summed up in one word: FUN! The songs contained on their debut album 'Costello Music' are infectious, vibrant and simply make you feel good. And importantly, the trio do not take themselves too seriously, which is an important factor in having fun whatever one is doing. Critics of the band will point to all of their limitations, but those same critics probably have not had a night out of fun at their local pub or bar (a location this album suits perfectly) for years.

The Fratellis know how to gain your attention and hold it for as long as possible... Of the 13 cuts included on 'Costello Music', not a single one crosses the 4 minute barrier. And while there are undoubtedly a couple of songs too many and the album is fairly front-loaded, the ordering of the tracks never allows 'Costello Music' to get bogged down. Highlights are aplenty here, whether it be the charming opener 'Henrietta', the anthemic 'Chelsea Dagger' or the subject of the most recognizable of all iPod advertising campaigns, ‘Flathead’.

Another of The Fratellis' strengths (which ironically is another reason for a critic to dislike them) is their focused ability to perform what are essentially poppy songs in an accessibly rocking manner. They achieve this by effectively using striking changes of pace and volume (see 'Flathead' & 'Cuntry Boys and City Girls'), as well as various instruments (horns, banjo, acoustic guitars, etc...) at all the right times. Just when a listener appears settled, a guitar solo may emerge or vocal techniques will change. A good example of this is the under-rated 'Creepin' Up The Backstairs', which begins with alternating drums, hand-claps & guitars, before including both a very catchy bridge and chorus.

As mentioned, 'Costello Music' is not perfect and The Fratellis do indeed struggle when venturing outside of their comfort zone. The raw acoustic ballad 'Whistle For the Choir' is unconvincing, while both the blues-like number 'Doginabag' and the dated country sounding 'Vince The Loveable Stoner' required more refinement to succeed. Yet the band still has a decent strike rate when providing variety, as can be seen with the methodical melodies contained within 'Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night' and closer 'Ole Black 'n' Blue Eyes'. And no matter if the track is slow, fast, good or bad, the lyrical storytelling is fun, likeable and interesting, even if it occasionally gets a little silly.

'Costello Music' is undoubtedly an album that will divide opinion. Seemingly perfect for a debating competition, conflicting arguments can be made that this is either the best or worst album of 2006. Yet, with an above-average ratio of hits to misses and such a vibrantly fun outlook, the former should be closer to the truth than the latter. The Fratellis have done a little more than just be noticed with their full-length debut, they have become talked about, sung along with, danced to and even encouraged the air-guitar to be brought out.

Recommended Tracks: Chelsea Dagger, Flathead, Creepin' Up The Backstairs & Henrietta.



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user ratings (258)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Tom Chatt (4)
A great rock debut that was too quickly forgotten....

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Glasgow boys Churn out a Debut that most established band would kill for...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bleak123
October 8th 2008


1902 Comments


I remember buying this when it first came out, it's ok I guess.

Captain North
October 8th 2008


6791 Comments


Chelsea Dagger annoyed the shit outta me.

SnackaryBinx
October 8th 2008


2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's because it's a really annoying song. I was cool with it, but it just got beat into the fucking ground

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If someone doesn't like 'Chelsea Dagger', I can't imagine them liking the entire album. So Captain North, steer clear of this.

marksellsuswallets
October 8th 2008


4848 Comments


Were these guys on an iPod commercial? I swear I thought I heard one of their songs on an iPod commercial...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brent, I am unsure if your question is serious or not. If not, my sarcasm monitor has not been turned on today. If it is a serious question, re-read the 3rd paragraph of this review.

DeathGrinder
October 9th 2008


152 Comments


He didnt read the review!!!!!!!! GET HIM

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah, if he skimmed the review, he wouldn't be the only one. Plus, marksellsuswallets has definitely got a few credits in the bank as far as I'm concerned. So he is forgiven... THIS TIME. ;-)

marksellsuswallets
October 9th 2008


4848 Comments


Yeah I just skimmed please forgive me
I just read the first two paragraphs and then started skipping around...it was around like 2 a.m. so yeah...haha

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So what you're saying Brent is that you used my review as a cure for insomnia!?!?!? Always glad to help mate! Haha.

marksellsuswallets
October 9th 2008


4848 Comments


Nah, I was taking a break from studying major/minor/augmented/diminished triads to read the review but my brain was simply to fried and not up to the task...I kept seeing key signatures and natural signs during the reading haha...This Message Edited On 10.09.08

AtavanHalen
October 9th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Funtellis?
That sounds like a Scottish kid's show where they all dress up like dinosaurs with kilts on.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brent, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about... & I am glad.
Dave, it does sound like that a bit. And I could probably see them doing it too. Man, they had me laughing out loud when they hauled their drunken a$$es up to collect the Best Breakthrough Artist award at The Brit Awards a couple of years back!

AtavanHalen
October 10th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Best British awards moment was between Bob Geldof and Russell Brand.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Refresh my memory on this one Dave as I am unsure I have seen it. The 2 LOL moments I recall from the Brits were The Fratellis & Oasis.

AtavanHalen
October 10th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It wasn't the Brits. It was the NME awards.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well gee Dave, presuming it is not too long of a story to tell, don't keep us in suspense, what did Sir Bob & Rusty get up to...???

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am pleasantly surprised you liked this Dave. For some reason, I didn't think it would be totally your thing.
They were just down under & I gave them a miss, which I regret now since I have heard their 2nd album and (as per my review) I was rather impressed with their new sound. There is actually some talent behind the "la, la, la, la's".

AtavanHalen
October 10th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well gee Dave, presuming it is not too long of a story to tell, don't keep us in suspense, what did Sir Bob & Rusty get up to...???

Presenting an award to Geldof, Brand introduced him as "Sir Bobby Gandalf". When he accepted the award, Geldof said "Russell Brand...what a cunt". After he gave his speech, Russell goes- "What a great guy...apart from him calling me a cunt, obviously."
He then quickly followed with: "Of course, he'd know plenty about poverty. He has, after all, been dining out on I Don't Like Mondays for the past thirty years".

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great to hear The Fratellis are solid live Dave (Spat Out...). I will definitely be catching them next time around.
Oh man, that sounds like gold Dave (Atavan...). Hilarious stuff & I can't beat that... Not even Oasis can trump that. Haha.



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