When The Feeling stepped onto the brightly colored British pop circuit back in 2006, their first few singles, such as Fill My Little World, Love It When You Call and Sewn were some of the highest played songs on radio. But the mid-noughties was a blurry time for most things, including music. It was a fun, kaleidoscopic period no doubt, but it was also at time that often lacked direction and flair. But regardless of being an arguably tasteless era, there is no love lost when reminiscing on what ‘used to be’. And that is why The Feeling were the ideal pop band of the time; just like the time period itself, they are a prime example of the ever essential guilty pleasure.
Now on their fifth album, the new one is self titled, recorded live, and was created in less than a week. At twelve tracks long, it manages to pack in everything a fan would be hoping for. Lead single Spiralling is, for the most part a classic British pop tune, but it is driven by a jangly, soft-rock guitar riff that is drenched in reverb and 90s nostalgia. Feel Something is powerful and ballad-like, with songs like Let It Be Gone acting as reminders of the melancholic, introspective themes introduced by their previous album, Boy Cried Wolf.
There are definitely some hit-and-miss points on The Feeling however. Alien sounds like it would be more at home as the theme tune for an after-school kids TV show than on record, whereas Non-Stop American is just one of a few tracks that are unavoidably outdated. But then, The Feeling have never really been a band praised for their album potential – first and foremost, they are a singles band.
They achieved great success with their first album because the noughties were the perfect era for a record like Twelve Stops And Home to flourish. However, with a sound still deep-rooted in their heyday, it is unlikely that they will find that same success in 2016. But although nothing will ever be as equally cheesy and delightful as Fill My Little World, this album definitely showcases a few songs with potential.