Their sub-Verve lad rock having long lost its commercial value, the Courteeners release their third album with something of a reinvention. Gone are the Gallagher-isms of yore. In come enough synths to make Hurts look over their shoulders.
And for the first half of ANNA you can’t but think they might have pulled it off. Opening tracks such “Are You In Love With A Motion” and lead single “Lose Control” provide the listener with more than enough evidence that The Courteeners have learned a few new tricks and know how to make the most of them. However the optimism is short-lived and by the second half of the album, patience becomes tested.
The Courteeners clearly have some new ideas, just not enough to sustain a whole album. As the second half of ANNA continues to plod on, clichés come thick and fast, with “Sharks Are Circling” proving to be a particular low point. One can’t help but wonder if the band spent more time on deciding how they would evolve with the times than writing actual songs.
ANNA does have just about enough ideas and invention to suggest The Courteener will survive into the next decade. However it appears they will always be a forgettable footnote of indie. The poor-mans Verve have just become the poor-mans White Lies.