The Feeling: The Feeling (Little World) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, January 23rd, 2020  

The Feeling

The Feeling

Little World

Mar 11, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Look, let's not beat around the bush here: this is shit. I know it's shit, you know it's shit. I've reviewed some shit albums in the past and I've said some pretty mean, albeit justified, things about Beady Eye and The Strypes. The Feeling are very much as shit as those bands, but this time, meh, what's the use in summoning the energy to come up with a crushing metaphor? It's like the Krusty the Clown line: "The pie gag's only funny when the sap's got dignity."

"This is music to be piped softly over the PA at Pizza Express. It's devastatingly mundane.... Relentlessly bland and bourgeois, [it] sounds like the product of focus-group analysis."

"As the album progresses, it all becomes increasingly trying. Lyrics start taking on unintentional resonances. One song is called 'Spare Me'. Another repeatedly pleads: 'What is the point?'"

"The Feeling are less a band, more a collection of jingles in search of an ad sync...its legs akimbo, its arsehole lubed to dripping and beckoning radio producers, Hollyoaks researchers and Whiskas ad men to go for their lives."

Three quotes from reviews of The Feeling's first three albums, from Yahoo Music, The Guardian, and NME respectively. And, in perhaps the most predictable musical development of the year, they could all apply to this self-titled fifth album (in fairness their fourth album, 2013's Boy Cried Wolf, got four stars in the British newspaper The Daily Mail but I won't pretend I have or ever will listen to it).

The Feeling is more guitar-led than its piano-heavy predecessors. I can't pretend this isn't one of the better ideas the band has ever had. "Repeat to Fade" has a squall and "Spiralling" has a soloan actual solothat a lesser musician such as I could never hope to play and record live as these are. Singer Dan Gillespie-Sells even goes for a shouty rock voice on more than one occasion (this is a bad idea, but hey it's an idea). Elsewhere there are soul vocals dotted throughout, but they feel tacked on rather than something that comes naturally to the song, similar to P.P. Arnold's appearance on Ocean Colour Scene's Marchin' Already.

The problem is that none of this lends even the faintest ghostly tinge of emotion, ofyou knowfeeling and the result is songs no less anodyne than the antiseptic piano ballad "Let It Be Gone," or the sub-McBusted punk-pop of "Alien." It's a collection of ditties with no end product and no goal in sight. Its existence is entirely without merit yet it doesn't even have enough about it to dislike to earn it the ignominy of a 0/10 rating.

More telling than any creative decision the band makes is the fact that this was recorded in Gillespie-Sells' converted Hackney pub home studio. Just let that sink in a minute and you'll understand that The Feeling is a record for, and The Feeling are a band for, the kind of person who has a converted Hackney pub home studio but complains about east London cereal cafés and gentrification. While working as a real estate agent at Foxtons.

The problem isn't that The Feeling are bland; loads of bands are bland. The problem is that unlike, say, Coldplay, The Feeling are the exact same kind of bland that they were when they started out a decade ago. Bass player Richard Jones has four kids and with his beautiful and talented wife. Gillespie-Sells sounds like the world's happiest man and is successful enough to own a converted Hackney pub home studio. Not only do you question why this album exists, you wonder why exactly the band are bothering to vacuum up A&R money that could be better spent on something else (for instance, literally anything).

Listen to if you like: The Feeling, rather than feelings. (www.thefeeling.com)

Author rating: 3/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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