According to Wikipedia, The Feeling were the most played band on UK radio in 2006: their four singles received a total of 97,436 plays, which meant that, on average, a song by The Feeling was played 267 times every day, or once every five minutes. Golly.
They passed us by — Jamie T, Arcade Fire, Grinderman, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Biffy Clyro, Art Brut, The Enemy, Rilo Kiley and Robert Plant/Alison Krauss are on our review list for 2007 — so we have no idea how this compares to their music back then; specifically, were they always this bland?
On the plus side, they play well. Some of The Feeling were session players before forming the band, so the playing is tight. They insert lots of pleasing little musical/studio tricks, so the drums go a bit skittish here, the guitars go loud and distort there, the songs go quiet or loud unexpectedly. They know how to structure a song in the sense of bolting it together.
They’re less good at writing memorable tunes. Opener Wicked Heart is good, an emotional pop song that does its job well. Track two Spiralling is also good. But then track three, Feel Something, offers the equivalent of musical blancmange, just sitting there and wobbling. Unfortunately, a number of songs are the same sort of musical nonentities.
In Repeat to Fade they throw everything at the song from vocal gymnastics to a gospel choir but the image it creates is a band intensely wringing out every last vestige of emotion, eyes closed and veins bulging, only to look up to see the crowd collectively checking its text messages and doing its nails while waiting for something to happen.
The two openers aside, the Razorlight-ish Non Stop American is ok and er, well that’s it. If you like really bland pop — and there are people who do, don’t knock it — try Wicked Heart.