Review: The Courteeners - Anna

Anna opens with the track ‘Are You in Love with a Notion’; a big title and an even bigger sound that is rather missing the familial Courteeners sonic twist. It enters with a cacophony of wah-woahs and heavy bass, accompanied by a sea of studio effects and synthesisers that threaten vocals and engulf most of the album. Anna felt promising listening to this track. Unfortunately ‘Are You in Love with a Notion’ is the only highlight of the album.It is questionable whether the Manchester four-piece have misplaced their raw, light-hearted indie sound, so well embodied in their debut album, St.Jude. The track ‘Lose Control’ opens with a Two Door Cinema Club pastiche of electronic drums and airy guitar, which leads the song into a chorus of droning chants of “Loooose Control,” which borders on becoming a forced sing-along chorus. Some might argue that the dark mood of the album projects a level of maturity on the LP and advancement in lead singer, Liam Fray’s, writing, but for me it feels somewhat overproduced, and that perhaps they are trying a little too hard to please the widest audience they can reach.Anna lacks the magic and appeal that St.Jude effortlessly radiated. It will be an uphill battle charting this one, with some luck they won’t over think the next album, and finally get back to their roots. In a Nutshell: A forced and high conscious sound from what is a great band.By Graham McCartin