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The Feeling - Join With Us

The Feeling, Join With Us

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE Feeling won many hearts with their debut release Twelve Stops And Home, which gave rise to such memorable singles as Fill My Little World, Never Be Lonely and – most notably – Sewn.

For their sophomore effort, Join With Us, Dan Gillespie Sells and company attempt to recapture that magic, albeit on a more epic scale. If anything, album number two is even more hopeful than its happy go lucky predecessor – and maybe that’s the problem. It’s simply too upbeat.

Tracks such as lead single and album opener I Thought It Was Over – a love story set around the collapse of the Berlin Wall – are cloyingly sweet-natured.

Yes, they’re dripping in the kind of melodies that might make The Beach Boys sound depressing, or the grandiose emotion of bands like Supertramp, but you can have too much of a good thing (rather like over-indulging on your favourite dessert).

Attempts at recapturing the rock opera sweep of Queen, meanwhile, feel positively mis-guided. Hence, tracks like Don’t Make Me Sad or title track Join With Us, which concludes with a harp and angelic harmonising, simply don’t work.

There’s nothing really to remind you of the beautiful simplicity of Sewn – not even a piano-based offering like Spare Me, which can’t resist layering on the harmonies and vocal melodies.

Tracks like Turn It Up, meanwhile, vy with the likes of Mika and The Hoosiers for sheer glam-pop excess. When Sells sings of a “rock n roll disaster”, it’s hard not to agree.

You can easily imagine that the tidal wave of support that greeted The Feeling’s debut LP will sustain them well during the initial weeks of this album’s release, especially since they seem to be as radio friendly as ever.

But as hard as they try to endear themselves, there’s simply not enough going for this record to keep you tuned in. Recommendations come in the form of I Did It For Everyone, which uplift in just about the correct fashion, Loneliness, which at least embraces its own absurdity, and This Time, which talks of getting it right and doing things properly. It’ll probably become a lighters in the air concert favourite to rival Robbie Williams’ Angels.

Perhaps next time they will get things right. Sadly, with Join With Us they’ve never seemed less appealing.

Download picks: This Time, Loneliness, I Did It For Everyone

Track listing:

  1. I Thought It Was Over
  2. Without You
  3. Join With Us
  4. Spare Me
  5. Turn It Up
  6. I Did It For Everyone
  7. Won’t Go Away
  8. Loneliness
  9. Connor
  10. This Time
  11. Don’t Make Me Sad
  12. Greatest Show On Earth
  13. We Can Dance [hidden track]