Monday, June 8, 2015

The Feelies - Only Life

The Feelies – Only Life
A&M, 1988
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2012
Price: $3

This album crept into my life while I was hosting Alternative Flashback at KJHK and came at me full force when I randomly found it in the basement of Half Price Books St. Paul. Of all the HPB’s I worked for, that one had the best records. I don’t know what it was. All that cool indie, alt-rock stuff just seemed to flow there milk and honey style. When I went in to interview for shift leader I found a copy of Billy Bragg’s Talking With the Taxman About Poetry and knew it was meant to be. The hardest part was that my co-workers all had great taste in music and it was often a fight for the best shit. Those were the days!

So this Feelies record is great. Their debut Crazy Rhythms gets the most attention but this is the one that stuck with me. It’s a marvelous blend of jangly alt-pop and Velvet Underground influenced rock n’ roll (an influence that is further driven home by the cover of “What Goes On” that closes the record). Despite the major label, Only Life feels incredibly insulated from mainstream influences of the outside world. It eschews all the bad habits of the era and feels (only) timeless. It’s what we talk about when we talk about College Rock. 

"Too Much"

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