The Feelies are a band with history. Birthed from the 70’s post-punk landscape, this group of New Jersey kids were active for 25 years before disbanding. They reformed in 2008 and have been active since. Over the years, as many acts do, their style underwent a shift from the frenetic and jaunty tunes of youth to more mature, subdued tones. The band, over 40 years, has picked up much influence from folk-rock.
The Feelies’ latest album, In Between, released on February 24, their first since 2011. The album was compiled with a clear direction, both in sound and artistic vision, by its creators. In Between is a collection of repetitive and groovy guitar melodies spersed with low monotone vocals. The tone shifts and varies, each song in some way an aberration from the whole, but the central motif is never lost. There’s no bombastic rock opera or pop jingle lurking in the tracklist. The guitar work on the album is excellent and certainly the centerpiece of the work. The crisp and mesmerizing rhythms provided by the guitarist are perfectly complemented by the easy and emotionally vacant vocals of Glenn Mercer.
In conclusion, In Between is a quality album from a group that’s had plenty of time to fine tune their song-crafting. Indeed, the album demonstrates a mastery of delivering a feeling to the audience without overzealous composition. It’s not going to be immortalized as a new or creative direction for rock music, but it warrants critical praise as a testament to the band’s skill.