Oh yeah! The Feelies first studio album in six years. Produced by Glenn Mercer and Bill Million and recorded mainly in Glenn Mercer’s home studio in Haledon, New Jersey. A new Feelies release is not just a normal release to me, it is an event. Mercer explained to me in our interview, this is about fun. That’s why they got back together and are still making music, because it’s fun. When they broke up in 1992, it wasn’t fun anymore. So now, there are no motives other than to get together and play. All the band members have other jobs and interests so when they get together, it is purely for the joy of playing and performing. And it shows.
The album cover for In Between looks a lot like The Good Earth cover from 1986. Musically, it is a departure from their 1986 release. It is still The Feelies and no one will get that confused. But the modern day Feelies are a little more subdued than the 1986 rendition. That’s ok with me. The music is still beautiful and current and as jangly as ever. Some bands couldn’t pull this off, but it works for the Feelies. The songs are different enough not to sound like other releases, but still has that overall Feelies sound. A lot of the frenetic playing and feedback is gone replaced with lovely acoustic and clean electric guitar riffs. Also, great lyrics and vocals that have always been the hallmark of The Feelies sound.
Stay the Course (Track 3) is a lovely number I will call Slipping (Into Something) light. It has many of the same elements without the feedback blast at the end. Similar, but different enough to make it it’s own entity. But don’t get discouraged. If you like that Feelies feedback attack, there is plenty on Track 11, In Between (reprise). This is a 9 minute plus rave up with about six minutes of pristine distorted and feedback laden guitar work. It is absolutely stunning and sublime and presented in a way only The Feelies (or Velvet Underground) could deliver.
Make It Clear (Track 10) is a beautiful pop number, Feelies style, chock full of acoustic guitar riffs, rich percussion, and tambourine. This is the embodiment of what pop music should be. Full of gorgeous vocals and a little bit of off kilter instrumentation to keep it interesting. On February 27, 2017, you should get your very own copy of In Between.
Listen to Been Replaced from In Between