Felice Brothers – Celebration, Florida album review

‘Celebration, Florida’ is the 4th venture from the New York City based Felice Brothers, and evokes all the right feelings that music should be without getting bogged down in over production. It’s unpretentious as a whole and makes no excuses for the grimy opener, ‘Fire at the Pageant’, a foot stomping call-and-repeat noise extravaganza that’s easy to enjoy. Somehow, it segues beautifully into ‘Container Ship’, a song that relies on a piano and dreamy soundscape to perfectly balance the first track. The title track takes a sick electro swerve, almost as if it’s purely to keep the listener guessing.

This new exploration into Americana folk music knows no bounds; they even tackle honky tonk yodeling country in their ode ‘Dallas’. Note vocalist Ian Felice’s Dylan-esque quality to his voice, particularly on ‘Ponzi’ and ‘Oliver Stone’, the backbone to an already strong album. Some may find his voice ill-trained… to which you must answer the question, “Have you even heard ‘Blood on the Tracks’? Writer’s favourite though, has to go to ‘Best I Ever Had’, the penultimate track that’s so bayou blues one feels like it should come with its own rocking chair. It’s all in the details, from the solitary slide guitar, to the crickets in the background. It adds up to a very entertaining 4 minutes.

A good album is one that leaves you wanting more; one minute you’re really feeling the groove of the whole album as a piece of art, and the next thing you know, you realize you’re on the last song and you aren’t sure what to do with yourself. Celebration, Florida captures a slice of apple pie with all the filling; at 47 minutes it’s not a small helping either, but you’ll probably go back for seconds anyway.

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