Yikes, 80s synth alert from one of my favourite bands… Thing is this album is called ‘ Concrete Love’ which was also an album from my favourite female vocalist, the wonderful Julia Fordham. Yes really! Love my guitars but Julia is special. So one of my ‘look out for their work’ bands brings out an album of the same name which ends up conjuring all the wrong images for me. Having said all that, the fourth album from The Courteeners after St Jude, the forgettable Falcon and Anna is a return to excellent form from the Manc. rockers. Anna was a really good album so this has standards to attain, and it does. This is excellent work.
‘White horses’ is a strong start and ‘How good it was’ is a definite Courteeners classic. After the introduction ‘Small Bones’ has an Alex Turner in Manchester vibe to it and the rest is just basic, really good guitar music. ‘Has he told you…’, ‘Summer’ and ‘Saboteur’ (a bit of Kasabian bass drive in there, like it) deserve particular mentions but to be honest the whole thing is a real top album that has clearly been produced with thought and care and to my ear has high production values. ‘Dreamers’, towards the end of the CD is wistful and perfectly placed on the album.
My only complaint, in this and ‘Anna’, would be the occasional interjection of synthesisers but I think that is just me and I need to get over it.
This year we’ve had Arctic Monkeys with ‘AM’, Kasabian’s offering (48point something?) and the future award winning War on Drugs with ‘Lost in a Dream’, but this album is up there for me this year.
Going back to the ‘Concrete Love’ title, I’m not getting it, there is no mention in the lyric book or a track. I suppose we’re probably not supposed to. Anyway, it is all good.
White horses ***
How good it was ****
Small bones ***
Has he told you that he loves you yet ****
Black & blue ***
Next time you call ****
Beautiful Head ***
Time – 46:20
Released – 18 August 2014
(Kasabian’s album earlier this year was actually called 48.13!)