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Archive for June, 2011

Ok, so as this is an album of two halves, I thought I would review each disc separately.

It’s been over 3 years since their second album ‘Join With Us’ topped our charts, but now The Feeling are back with their third album, ‘Together We Were Made’. There is a single and double disc version of the album, The two discs are referred to as ‘The Birds and The Bees’.

So, let’s start with the first disc – The Birds;

The album begins with the familiar sound of lead single ‘Set My World On Fire’ which has recently had a lot of airplay on Radio 2 and was the BBC’s soundtrack to the cricket world cup. As you may have seen in my recent review of the single, it’s a sun-drenched, catchy pop tune with a calypso beat you’ll be tapping along to all day!

The overall feel of the album seems much more slick and sophisticated than some of their previous material. The band have worked with producers The Bullitts on track 8 of the album, ‘Mr.Grin’, polishing the track to perfection, emphasised by the honkey-tonk piano outro. Freemasons also helped to produce the album, who’s influence is most noticeable on glitter covered dance track ‘Searched Every Corner’.

The band have claimed in several interviews that there is a more ‘grown-up’ and ‘experimental’ feel to the songs on ‘Together We Were Made’. One such song where this really comes through is ‘Another Soldier’, a heavy guitar-based track made to head-bang to. ‘Build A Home’ continues this experimentation, showing off the band’s spangly new omnichord, whilst ‘A Hundred Sinners (Come And Get It)’ is a typical Feeling song, and possibly the catchiest yet!

As well as working with The Freemasons on the album, The Feeling have also collaborated with the likes of Sophie Ellis Bextor and Roisin Murphy on the wistful ‘Leave Me Out Of It’ and disco-centric ‘Dance For The Lights’ (respectively). There is a lot of┬ávariation throughout the album in terms of style and genre. And like any good record, this comes with a variety of moods – you can be bouncing one minute and weeping the next!

For me, the highlight of the album has to be the ballad, ‘Say No’. For those who’ve read my review of The Water Rats gig from last year, you will know that this track has always been a favorite of mine, and they have just got the production spot on for the album. The guitar solo in the middle is phenomenal and the song builds up to such a climax, with the additional vocals of Sinead Quinn, Marva Lamey and Jasmine Denham. It still sends shivers down my spine just like it did the first time I heard it. Perfect.

Another highlight for me is ‘Another Life’. The twinkly piano, combined with the 12 string guitar give the song excitement that just makes you wanna bounce! I felt like a kid again this afternoon jumping up and down, punching the air and yelling ‘Hey Hey Hey Hey!’ at the top of my voice. Nothing beats that feeling.

‘Back Where I Came From’ is a really powerful and heartfelt track, filled with nostalgia, which is complemented by piano lead ‘Love And Care’.

The album closer ‘Undeniable’, is another epic, following in the footsteps of ‘Blue Piccadilly’ and ‘Greatest Show On Earth’ from the previous two albums. Having seen the song performed live before the orchestral arrangement for the album really completes the song.

And those who buy the physical version of the album are treated to bonus track ‘Hardest Stone’, a 60’s-esque acoustic song, at the end of the album.

It’s not often you get an album that you literally cannot stop listening to. By the fourth listen I was trying to pick favorites, and it has changed at least 26 times over the last 24 hours. There’s certainly a progression and variation of musical style throughout, but at it’s heart ‘Together We Were Made’ is still a typical Feeling record, with lyrics that can break your heart and riffs that command you to dance.

5/5

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