13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Coming 20 years after their last release and more than 30 since their celebrated 1980 debut, Crazy Rhythms, the Feelies return with Here Before. They acknowledge the time lapse between releases in the album title and terse, clever lyrics. Otherwise, it's business as usual for the Feelies, which means an overall warm sound and a set of vibrant, well-written songs sung in their distinctly deadpan way. The current lineup includes guitarists, songwriters, singers, and band founders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million along with longtime collaborators Stanley Demeski (drums), Brenda Sauter (bass), and Dave Weckerman (percussion). The interplay between the guitars remains their bedrock feature as jangly acoustic strumming meshes brilliantly with melodic electric lead lines and arpeggios and the occasional fiery solo. Nothing on Here Before is groundbreaking or even unexpected, but that is precisely what makes it so satisfying. There are good reasons why the Feelies have retained such ardent fans even during long periods of inactivity, and they are all on display here. Hopefully they won’t wait so long until the next release.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Coming 20 years after their last release and more than 30 since their celebrated 1980 debut, Crazy Rhythms, the Feelies return with Here Before. They acknowledge the time lapse between releases in the album title and terse, clever lyrics. Otherwise, it's business as usual for the Feelies, which means an overall warm sound and a set of vibrant, well-written songs sung in their distinctly deadpan way. The current lineup includes guitarists, songwriters, singers, and band founders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million along with longtime collaborators Stanley Demeski (drums), Brenda Sauter (bass), and Dave Weckerman (percussion). The interplay between the guitars remains their bedrock feature as jangly acoustic strumming meshes brilliantly with melodic electric lead lines and arpeggios and the occasional fiery solo. Nothing on Here Before is groundbreaking or even unexpected, but that is precisely what makes it so satisfying. There are good reasons why the Feelies have retained such ardent fans even during long periods of inactivity, and they are all on display here. Hopefully they won’t wait so long until the next release.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

JVC527 ,

welcome home

saw the feelies many times back in the day....the mudd club on white street and the feelies, perfect together.
its been far to long...welcome home.

Norman Sample ,

Total Unity

That's what I feel when I listen to The Feelies working like they are here. The guitars, bass, and vocal wind and drift through each other; the percussion might lead for a bit and then stay behind quietly; but all elements fine-tuned to each other. When The Feelies are this synchronized, you'll want to just lie back and listen. This harkens back strongly to The Good Earth from '86 in the reliance on acoustic guitar to fill spaces left by the jangly lead. Glenn Mercer's vocals are a little more pronounced, but have a gentle shake as time has worked its magic. The Feelies know their elements: The Good Earth sounded like a day in a serene meadow; this, as the album cover suggests, is like a lazy drift along a peaceful river.

It was amazing that iTunes didn't even have their material for years, and now you can see The Feelies cited as influences for contemporary bands like Magic Bullets. Indy fans from the 80s rejoice, but new arrivals, give this a chance and enjoy. Start with "Should Be Gone" and get to "So Far."

Rock DMC ,

Solid return

I was so thrilled to learn The Feelies were putting out a new album after a 20 year hiatus. They never have gotten what they deserve in terms of mainstream success. They were a big influence on REM. Here Before picks up where Time For A Witness left off. If you're a Feelies fan you won't be disappointed. There is not a weak track on the entire set. The sound will be familiar. Let's just hope they tour around and deliver another album of great music without too long of a wait.

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