After the delirious success of With Ears To See and Eyes To Hear, accumulating a passionate fanbase, funding tours around the world and helping spread their heartfelt messages of love and encouragement to follow your dreams; out of the midst comes third album Feel. With a more pop-hardcore feel, containing fresh collaborations and various special creative flair, the album does fall short in some areas.
Opening track Feel is incredibly catchy, with sunny hooks and motivating, uplifting lyrics waving around high-pitched chords and drums tapping away in the background before coming to the fore-front in the roaring chorus, over and over again in a slightly monotonous fashion. This rolls into Here We Go a vast improvement on its predecessor with its great contrast of ethereal metallic sounds, coarse guitars and drums that dip and dive with the lyrics. This and the changing tempo as the song progresses making it so pleasing to the ears it’s bound to be on repeat for days on end.
Next up is Free Now a song fast becoming popular live but why? On the surface its echoing vocals and tingling chords create an lulling, beautiful and seemingly deep song, but if you listen close the lyrics could have easily been written by a child. It’s almost embarrassing. This is where a lot of their songs fall apart, they are known for portraying loving and inspiring lyrics but it seems this has gotten to their heads and they are just pumping out any old lyrical nonsense under the guise of rousing. Simple can sometimes be best, but in this case: no.
Both collaborations on the album I’ll Take You There featuring Shayley Bougart and Congratulations featuring Matty Mullins seem to be the only proper stand out tracks on the album. The former incorporates soaring hooks and crashing instrumentals instead of just being a demonstration of Kellin Quinn’s vocals with a backing band which much of this album sounds like, instead this track shows a harder edge calling back to previous albums.
Congratulations seems to purely be about fun and experimentation with a comical answer phone beginning before storming into a cock-rockesque ode, think Escape The Fate-lite making your hips shake and your brain quake with its diversity as it plunges into a soft, experimental interlude throwing you right out of the almost sexy groove you’re serenading with to start with.
Another highlight would be that of Sorry and not just because it is the only slow song on the album. Despite again poor lyrics and monotony, musically this song is very sophisticated in bursts. The guitars hit all the right notes, harmonies elevate Quinn’s vocals, and changing tempos provide an atmospheric elegy that really should’ve ended the album. Actual closing track Satellites is almost too similar to Sorry in its rhythm, chord progression and other aspects, and after a while despite its efforts at creativity, the song becomes very “samey”.
Despite having the potential of being such a fantastic, smash hit album if any of its predecessors have anything to go by, this album fell short by a long mile. It’s not awful, and it has stand out tracks and little hidden fascinating elements, but it isn’t good enough. Feel didn’t quite hit all the right notes that the band usually do. It’s such a shame.