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Celebration Florida

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Celebration, Florida [Explicit]
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Audio CD, May 10, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 album from the New York-based Alt-Rock band made up of two brothers and three longtime friends. Celebration, Florida is an exhilarating amalgamation of frightening horn sections, unexpected 808s, ambient synth lines, schoolyard taunts, booming, primitive drum beats, heavy bass lines, piano, violin, accordion, ringing guitars, rave beats, and sinister acid jazz that captivates and mystifies. Recorded in the library and theater of Beacon, NYs old high school, the band explores a multitude of sounds and instrumentation throughout the expansive album. Its inspired, imaginative, heady, menacing, passionate, and rollicking. Most importantly, it's as steadfastly authentic as ever, expanding upon the dark, woozy undercurrent of ramshackle barroom blues, vaudevillian atmospherics, and surreal storytelling of their previous albums.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum (Ryko)
  • ASIN: B004U8T3M4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This group just keeps getting better. One of my favorite current bands have done it again with this great album of songs. Fire at the Pageant sets the tone and it's a unique journey through Celebration, Florida. I really like the attempts at different sounds the band has used, employing more production work but not so much that it takes away from the songs. They still have that amazing storytelling quality to them and the songs from the album that I've heard live are just epic. Do yourself a favor and buy this album.....if only to listen to River Jordan again and again and again.
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Format: Audio CD
With songs ranging from merrily creepy (Fire at the Pageant) to heartbreakingly anguished (River Jordan) The Felice Brothers new release Celebration, Florida magically manages to maintain the bands' signature sound while being totally unexpected at the same time. The Felice Brothers, relentlessly and unfairly compared to "The Band," yet again distinguish themselves with a CD that is brave and brilliant. Their sound is their own, and never more so than on Celebration, Florida.
The album was produced by Jeremy Backofen, whose consistent and valuable presence as producer on the Brothers' previous CDS have made him a 6th Felice Brother of sorts.
The Felice's deservedly have a very dedicated fan base and those fans will be delighted with Celebration. But Celebration Florida is also for the new listener. Be forewarned: On Celebration, Florida, The Felice Brothers will entertain you with stories that will remind you the ones you used to cajole your favorite drunken uncle into telling when you were a kid, make you want to dance, make you laugh and break your heart - sometimes simultaneously. And Ian Felice and Christmas are two of the best and most original writers (of anything) in America today. (As is James Felice, although unfortunately Celebration doesn't include a Jimmy song)
Do yourself a favor and listen to it several times. Celebration, Florida is a gift - a gift to music lovers, and a gift to those who appreciate artists who are willing to sacrifice the gratification of immediate financial returns for the creation of a piece of work that stands alone.
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Format: Audio CD
With Celebration, Florida, The Felice Brothers expand their songwriting talents to a sonic soundscape that is eerie, compelling, and ultimately beautiful. While you won't find country-tinged, cacophonous hell-raisers like "Whiskey in my Whiskey" or "Love Me Tenderly," the band of brothers and close friends have developed a sound that is entirely unique, mature, and surreal - without abandoning their lyrical storytelling for which they've one over many fans. Celebration, Florida is easily the Brothers most complete, cohesive, and thematic album to date. I have a feeling that this will become a paramount and seminal collection of songs. I highly recommend this for fans of any music: the Felice Brothers have transcended the need for genre definitions with Celebration, Florida. This is for any lover of interesting and important music.
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Format: MP3 Music
With the departure of Simone Felice, there were always going to be changes to the musical direction of the Felice Brothers. This was presaged on their `Mix Tape' album, which was available at gigs and their web site originally. It too was slower and darker than previous offerings. This goes further and darker. It owes more to Tom Waites and even Lou Reed than any country/rock influence, but strangely their roots are still visible or rather audible.

It kicks off with `Fire at the pageant' which has a chorus of kids asking for the noise to stop, and a raucous feel that initially grabs you and then goes into a very introspective number with `Container Ship'. `Honda Civic' is a mix of old and new with a thumping bass line and horns and accordion and I kept thinking, whether it would work `live' or not.

Track 5 `Ponzi' has Simone back with them doing backing vocals as Ian does the majority of the singing here, and most of the time he oozes soul and regret in equal amounts. `Ponzi' is where a paradigm shift takes place as the synths kick in, there is a Visage `Fade to Gray' riff at one point. It is full of club beats and strange twists, but I could still see their fingerprints all over it. I actually said `wow!' the first time I heard it. `Back in the dancehalls is full of driving rhythm and has a fiddle backdrop, that really works.

There are no real barnstormers here or any `Frankie's Gun' type tales. These are deeper and darker; track 7 reminded me of `Ambulance Man' from `Yonder is the clock', with its laconic brooding. There is no lyric sheet, but as ever the vocals are so clear that you won't need them.
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Format: Audio CD
3.5 stars

Following three great albums of robust Americana which saw the Felice Brothers pick up the mantle of the Band and develop it in new directions it was imperative for the band to take a different fork in the road. Their last album "Yonder is the clock" was a mix of drama and high jinx's containing songs as varied as the barnstorming "Run chicken run" to the gentle sadness of "Boy from Lawrence County". It was a minor classic but it also marked a conclusion to the bands first phase of development and you sensed that more experimentation would follow. And here it is in spades in the form of their fourth album "Celebration Florida" a very dark and troubling album that by any standards does not "jump off the page" upon first listens. Indeed after repeated listens it turns out to be an album than is much easier to admire than love, scoring high on atmosphere but somewhat poorly on accessibility. One review has already described it as the band "weakest set of songs" but persist since there is more here than meets the eye.

It's not that the songs are weak it's just that on times they are just too cluttered and need to be reigned in. Opener "Fire at the pageant" starts with a tight stringed guitar sounding and a throaty vocal from Ian Felice who is joined by a gang of shouting children. Their role is to loudly advise on the chorus that "everybody calm down and please stop shouting' to accompaniment of loud bangs and industrial clattering in the background. It's all very clever but as a song how often will you return to it? Much better is the ghostly Tom Waits like "Container ship" which almost incorporates a hip hop beat and gently rolls out to a mix of haunting piano and synths.
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