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The Felice Brothers: Favorite Waitress

by Stratton Lawrence on June 30, 2014

If the electronic beats and synths on 2011’s Celebration, Florida were The Felice Brothers’ way of shedding fans’ expectations (and of ditching constant comparisons to The Basement Tapes-era Dylan and The Band), then their follow-up stands as definitive reassurance that their roots remain fully intact. Most notably, Ian Felice’s lyricism—prodigious smatterings of depressed one-liners, carefully pieced into semi-intelligible abstract imagery—matures into a new level of songcraft. “I’m the new Elvis, covered in my enemy’s blood,” he quips in on “Saturday Night,” before dropping, “I ain’t the boss but I’m his illegitimate son, 'cause baby I was born to run.” From the sing-along opener, “Bird on Broken Wing” (laden with dogs barking and dedicated to Pete Seeger in the liner notes), to the full-tilt “Woman Next Door,” to the blistering ‘90s alt-rock-esque “Katie Cruel,” this 13-song collection by the raucous quintet of Upstate New York literary hillbillies should manage to reignite their base, while still testing the limits of fans and critics’ stereotypes.

Authors: Stratton Lawrence
Artist: The Felice Brothers
Album: Favorite Waitress
Label: Dualtone