The Feeling’s third album Together We Were Made (out in 2011) was in my opinion criminally underappreciated. The reviews it received were abysmal to say the least, but I personally think it is their best collection to date, being comprised of heartfelt ballads and angsty choruses alongside jaunty pop tunes that put many a smile upon my eternally miserable face. They followed this up earlier this month with Boy Cried Wolf which isn’t as good as their previous effort, but it’s certainly still a worthy addition to their discography.
The London and Sussex five-piece have stuck with what they know – creating timeless, emotional mini-masterpieces – but that definitely isn’t a bad thing. Album opener ‘Blue Murder’ is angry, emotional and powerful and lead singer Dan Gillespie Sells’ vocals are on top form. In fact the band have never sounded better. It’s a recurring trick throughout the album; no song is truly 100% upbeat and they all contain a lot of emotion – weather it be happiness, anger or sorrow – but the truth is there isn’t a dull song on the album. ‘Anchor’, a song about letting someone go and “sail another shore, now you’ve broke loose” is another powerful affair and you can hear the emotion bursting through Dan’s voice. The song is clearly biographical, depicting Dan’s recent heartbreak at a failed relationship. This is contrasted with ‘Fall Like Rain’, which discusses rebuilding a broken relationship or forming a new one (“and what was broken can be made like new”) over a simple, hypnotising melody.
‘Rescue’ is The Feeling at their best: simple verses and a repetitive, addictive chorus over big rock beats. The soaring track is the standout from the album. ‘The Gloves Are Off’ is perhaps the most upbeat song from the collection, once again with a repetitive chorus to help it stick in listeners’ heads, discussing being equal in a relationship and about fighting to keep things the same. A Lost Home is emotional and heartfelt and the band’s trademark ballad. It’s as good as ‘Rosé’. ‘You’ll See’ is similar (slow and deeply touching) but it’s not as good as ‘A Lost Home’.
What I like about The Feeling is that Dan is gay and if you know this you’ll know that when he is singing about being in love or a relationship souring he is quite clearly singing about a same-sex relationship, because that is what he knows. But The Feeling’s music transcends these labels and applies to everyone. That’s what makes The Feeling worthwhile. After four albums in eight years The Feeling still have it.