Famous First Words (Viva Brother album)

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Famous First Words
Studio album by Viva Brother
Released August 1, 2011
Recorded 2011
Genre Post-Britpop, alternative rock
Label Geffen
Producer Stephen Street
Singles from Famous First Words
  1. "Darling Buds of May"
    Released: November 2010
  2. "Still Here"
    Released: March 2011
  3. "New Year's Day"
    Released: May 2011

Famous First Words is the debut studio album by English pop-rock band Viva Brother, released on 1 August 2011, on Geffen Records in the United Kingdom. Preceded by the singles "Darling Buds of May", "Still Here" and "New Year's Day", the album was produced and mixed by Stephen Street, who had previously worked with acts such as Blur and The Smiths.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 34/100 link
Review scores
Source Rating
All Music 2/5 stars link
The Guardian 2/5 stars link
The Independent 1/5 stars link
musicOMH 2/5 stars link
NME 5/10 stars link
The Observer 1/5 stars link
Pitchfork Media (2.9/10.0) link
The Skinny 1/5 stars link

The album was panned by critics upon release, with reviewers criticizing the lack of original content and the clumsiness with which the band attempted to emulate popular acts of the 90s. On, Metacritic, the album received a score of 34/100, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Alexis Petridis of the Guardian likened the band to a tragicomedy and remarked that "Viva Brother haven't got a new idea in their heads – as every song fades out, you somehow imagine the theme music from TFI Friday fading in".[1] Martin Headon of musicOMH praised certain aspects of the album, but noted that overall it was clichéd, had "few arresting melodies" and lacked courage.[2] Similarly, Hari Ashurst of Pitchfork Media lamented the "chugging guitar and infant grade lyrics", ultimately judging the album to be "pretty brainless stuff, the special kind that makes you feel somehow stupider for having listened".[3] John Meagher of the Irish Independent wrote that Viva Brother "might just be responsible for the most uninspired, downright awful British album of the year".[4]

NME's Emily Mackay gave the album a more moderate score of 5/10, commenting positively on "New Year's Day" and "Darling Buds of May", but going on to criticize the rest of the songs, saying, "there’s no lyrical content here with lasting weight or worth much comment at all..." The review ultimately described the album as "disappointing [and] formulaic".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Viva Brother.

No. Title Length
1. "New Year's Day" 3:22
2. "Still Here" 4:03
3. "David" 3:12
4. "High Street Low Lives" 3:02
5. "Electric Daydream" 3:46
6. "Darling Buds of May" 3:15
7. "Otherside" 3:40
8. "Fly By Nights" 2:50
9. "False Alarm" 3:49
10. "Time Machine" 3:17
11. "Shoot Like Lightning" (iTunes Bonus Track) 2:49
Total length: 34:16


  1. ^ Petridis, Alexis. "Viva Brother: Famous First Words - review". The Guardian, 28 July 2011. Retrieved on 28 July 2011.
  2. ^ Headon, Martin. "Viva Brother - Famous First Words". musicOMH, 28 July 2011. Retrieved on 28 July 2011.
  3. ^ Ashurst, Hari. "Viva Brother - Famous First Words". Pitchfork Media, 29 July 2011. Retrieved on 29 July 2011.
  4. ^ Meagher, John. "Viva Brother - Famous First Words". Irish Independent, 29 July 2011. Retrieved on 29 July 2011.
  5. ^ Mackay, Emily (26 July 2011). "Album Review: Viva Brother - 'Famous First Words'". NME. Retrieved 1 September 2011.