Best known in the United States for their 2006 sports anthem classic “Chelsea Dagger,” The Fratellis are an indie rock band from Scotland, who have achieved great success in the United Kingdom.
Their newest album, “In Your Own Sweet Time” drops Friday on iTunes and Spotify. While the full album won’t be released until this Friday, the band has pre-released four singles, which have received mixed but promising reviews.
Keeping with their style, the four songs are upbeat tunes about whirlwind romances and daring heartbreaks. It seems as though the overall theme of the album is the story of a modern-day romance between two tragic lovers.
Jon Fratelli, the band’s lead vocalist, said the album was “a mixture of shimmer, tale-telling, light and shade,” in an interview with Billboard.
In “Starcrossed Losers,” Fratelli sings, “Romeo, Romeo I’m your Juliet / I’m the pot of gold you haven’t found yet,” seemingly mocking how literary pair idealize each other. All the while, the backing melody remains upbeat, contrasting the tune’s more cynical lyrics.
None of the “In Your Own Sweet Time” singles have entered Billboard’s hot 100, but historically the Fratellis’ albums often feel more cohesive than their singles, and this album’s romantic storyline, which connects each trademark head-bang worthy track, will probably sound stronger when heard as a whole.
The album seems to begin with the end of a romance. Opening with “Stand Up Tragedy,” the band begins the album’s plotline of a great love that ends with terrible yet comedic heartbreak, as the song’s protagonist becomes “just another punchline in your stand up tragedy.”
“The Next Time We Wed” is an upbeat apology in which the singer promises to be a better groom next time around. Initially, the song sounds like it might be sad and sappy, but it winds up having more of a cheeky and charming vibe to it, leaving the listener with a smile on their face.
The last pre-release song (and my personal favorite) is “I’ve Been Blind,” what some might think of as a confessional track. The lyrics revolve around the proclamation of a powerful and “incurable” love. The girl has shown the singer the light and they’re ready to learn to love again.
Based solely on its singles, the album is already shaping up to be another wonderful feel-good collection of music for anybody hoping to jam along to the work of these three brothers. What people will be looking for now is the soft and subtle ballads that most mainstream artists have to guarantee before any big release. It’s interesting that the pre-releases did not contain any mellow songs similar their 2015 release “Slow.”
All this being said, The Fratellis certainly aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. While the singles are enjoyable and catchy, they are also arguably a bit too familiar, and that’s coming from an old school fan. The album’s songs are all a little similar to each other and to a lot of The Fratellis’ previous music, which begs the question, are we getting new music or recycling tunes? With this being their sixth album, it could be make or break time for the future of these Scottish singers.
Hopefully, the album’s remaining tracks will bring more a bit diversity to the table this Friday, pleasing long term fans and maybe capturing some new listeners.
The Fratellis will be returning to the United States with their first American tour since the release of their 2013 album “We Need Medicine.” They will perform at Paradise Rock Club in Boston on May 18.