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FEELIES - In Between

"In its best moments, In Between sounds both mellow and intense in ways only the Feelies can pull off. That’s helped along by the increased prominence of acoustic guitar compared to Here Before (making the album a kind of spiritual sequel to The Good Earth). Acoustic guitars naturally exude calm, but Mercer and Bill Million imbue them with a sharpness. The quick strums in the pithy “Turn Back Time” and aforementioned swayer “Stay the Course” both soothe and energize. Acoustics even tighten the otherwise placid ballad “Make It Clear.”

Still, the Feelies remain a democratic machine, with each sound snugly complementing the other. They’re masters at weaving their moving parts into a kinetic whole: Take “Gone Gone Gone,” an insta-classic that escalates simple chords into a cycle of tension and release. While Mercer intones open-ended lyrics (“What do you want to know?/What do you want to do?”), the tune peaks when bassist Brenda Sauter redirects the band’s momentum like a ship’s rudder.

All the instrumental symbiosis on In Betweenconnects its songs into an arc. That’s emphasized by how the album begins and ends. On previous records, the Feelies liked to conclude with a cover: the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” on 1988’s Only Life, the Stooges’ “Real Cool Time” on 1991’s Time for a Witness. Here, they cover themselves, reprising the sparse opening title track as a long, dense closing jam. Explicitly framing the album as a cycle is a typically Zen move, suggesting that this evergreen band plans on more trips around the sun." - Pitchfork

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