I’ve been listening to The Fratellis for years, but it didn’t seem like they would have another hit after the circus-esque feel of 2007’s Costello Music. In Your Own Sweet Time, however, was able to stick to their old sound while revamping it for a new decade.
The first song, “Stand up Tragedy” starts the album off with a very beat-heavy song. The lyrics overall are pretty nonsensical, but I really liked the line “If I was the melody you were the symphony / Honey loving you took the very best of me.” I’d never heard a romantic dynamic be described that way before, but for anyone who knows music vocabulary, it makes perfect sense.
The upbeat sound is followed up with “Starcrossed Losers”, which is deceptive. The instrumentals and references to popular starcrossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet make it seem like a stereotypical love song. But the lyrics and music video convey two people who really care about each other, but for whatever reason couldn’t be together. Which, if you look at the story of Romeo and Juliet, aligns pretty well. Also, the violins at the end really cemented this song as one of my favorites for the year.
“The Next Time We Wed” perfectly illustrates what I mentioned earlier. It’s very reminescent of Costello Music, but it also uses a lot of electronic sounds to make it new. This was previously released as a single, and it’s what gave me hope that this album would be good.
“I’ve Been Blind” and “Laughing Gas” are kind of slow burns compared to the first half of the album. This could be partially due to the subject matter, as one song is about the singer not realizing what they had, and the other is about trying to make someone happy before dying. “So, darling, break out the laughing gas / You and I know this joke soon will pass / Give me your last request / And I’ll see what I can do / To paint your grey skies blue / Before I pass.” For some reason it reminded me of Robin Williams and other famous comedians who have died, and it seemed like a great recognition of them.
By this point I was still enjoying the album, but I figured I would get bored hearing four more songs similar to the first half of the album. I was completely shocked by “Advaita Shuffle”, which I can confidently say is like nothing I’ve ever heard before. The best way to describe it is a British version of rockabilly, but in the chorus a string section is introduced that sounds very Middle Eastern. At the end of the song they make a tie in to the children’s song “She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain When she Comes.” I’m not sure if it can get more random than that, but it was executed incredibly well.
“I Guess…I Suppose…” and “Indestructible” also mess around with this sound, except one is more techno-heavy and the other seems 80s synth inspired.
The album ends with “I Am That.” The insrumentals are decent, but the focus is definitely on the lyrics. The band is meditating on their past and future. “Talk with me in your vacant tones / Take my heart in your bare hands, keep it beating / I never wanted anything but this / I never saw myself fading or repeating.” As far as the album goes it’s probably my least favorite track, but that’s just because there were so many amazing songs on this album.
The Fratellis really did take their own sweet time to release another solid album, but I’m glad to see them back, and I can’t wait to see what they do with this newfound momentum.
By: Monica Brich