Sound: This stunning debut album has surely left it's mark on the Manchester Rock scene. Taking inspiration from The Smiths (indeed Stephen Street who produced much early Smiths and Morrisey material produced this album), Oasis and Morrisey, Liam Fray has written some amazing tracks, filled with catchy guitar riffs and well thought out lyrics. From the slow, guitar-only track "How Come", to the impossible to keep still to "Not Nineteen Forever", like it or not, "St. Jude" has left it's mark. The cover art is a painting of Audrey Hepburn, painted by Liam Fray himself. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics in "St. Jude" are nothing short of superb. From the story of judging a book by it's cover in "No You Didn't, No You Don't", ("I go through stages, where I neglect endeavour, does this mean that I'm not clever?"), and the lively upbeat words from "Bide Your Time" ("You hate the suntan, and you can't stand to be around, the short sleeved man"). The contrast between the lyrics in some songs you'd be surprised they're from the same album, but they're still going to be left in your head for quite some time, along with Liam Fray's Manchester accent, perfect for such songs. // 10
Overall Impression: The Courteeners are fast reaching their own unique style of music. But The Smiths, and indeed other Manchester Rock bands style can be found woven into The Courteeners' material. The most impressive songs on the album range from the lyrical genius' of "Bide Your Time" and "No You Didn't, No You Didn't", to the catchy, upbeat melody of "Not Nineteen Forever".
Perhaps the best thing about the album is how catchy it is. After one listen you will surely be hooked for at least a few days. The one downside to the album is one or two songs which have the "half-finished" feel to them, but this is to be expected from any debut album. Definitely one of the best Alternative albums of 2008, give it a listen, what have you got to lose? // 9