I don’t talk much cause it gets in the way: The best of the Feelies

Exploring every nuance in the Velvet Underground’s diamond-sharp rhythm strumming on “What Goes On” like Alexander Pope did the heroic couplet, The Feelies produced a jittery post-punk removed from time and space, which is, after all, what Lou Reed’s guitar promised on the 1968 chestnut. They abstracted lyrical content such that the song titles are banal tags, the vocals an acceptance of modesty; only New Order wrote more meaningless song titles: “Let’s Go” and “Find a Way” and “Should Be Gone” could’ve been named by anyone, and that’s the point. The exception: Crazy Rhythms, on which Glenn Mercer and Bill Million owned the first title, “The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness.”

As for The Good Earth, what an anomaly: more nervousness, but a pastoral kind, like Philip Roth stranded in upstate New York. Mike Powell wrote the sharpest appraisal occasioned by a re-issue:

It’s no less hypnotic than Crazy Rhythms, but it has a different notion of infinity: Wheat fields, Sunday drives, childhood bedtimes to the sound of adults murmuring from the living room. The cover image– the band, slightly sepia-toned and standing in tall grass– is a rural reconsideration of Crazy Rhythms, a stepping back. Mercer’s vocals are a stream-of-consciousness hum under the shimmer of guitars.

Finally, please note that Blues Traveler stole the chords and guitar melody from “The High Road” for “Run-Around.”

1. Raised Eyebrows
2. Moscow Nights
3. Slipping Into (Something}
4. The Boy with Perpetual Nervousness
5. Time For A Witness
6. The Last Roundup
7. Should Be Gone
8. Everybody’s Got Something to Hide (Except Me and My Monkey)
9. The High Road
10. Doin’ It Again
12. Crazy Rhythms
13. Tomorrow Today
14. Waiting
15. Forces at Work
16. Gone, Gone, Gone
17. Fame

2 thoughts on “I don’t talk much cause it gets in the way: The best of the Feelies

  1. I totally agree about Run Around and the Feelies – was shocked no one else on the internet was griping about it.

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