Released: 18th February 2008.
For an album that's been so hotly anticipated, the Feeling have very carefully managed to make it a very well kept secret. But now, it's finally here: "Join With Us", the follow up to 2006's "Twelve Stops And Home", the album that sold over a million copies and saw them become Britain's biggest radio hit-makers since Texas or Simon Webbe.
Though we've already had a slight hint to a change in sound with the disco-tastic new single and current top 10 smash "I Thought It Was Over", this is just the tip of the iceberg. And, while old fans may take a while to adapt to the new sounds, others might just welcome this with open arms. Whilst there is still a lot of their trademark sounds coming across from 70's pop rock pioneers like Supertramp and ELO, there are some harder, heavier influences meaning that at least 75% of this album is musically palatable.
"Without You", for instance, has some fantastic vocal arrangements that sail over a dreamy “Strawberry Fields”-esque backdrop, contrasted with the lyrics describing lead vocalist Dan Gillespie Sells' reaction to the massacres in Virginia as he "wonders what the time is in London". Others, like "Won't Go Away", with its “Walk Like An Egyptian” vibes, stroppy vocals and clunky sax solo trying to emulate Bowie's "Modern Love", and "Turn It Up" which incongruously bounces back and forth between sweet piano breakdowns and rocked up singalong choruses are also highlights.
There's even a dip into epic-song territory with "The Greatest Show On Earth", weighing in at 8 minutes and a slight feel of stompy folk on closing track "We Can Dance" - like a poppier KT Tunstall, but sung by a man.
It's clear from hearing this that they've come on in leaps and bounds from two years ago. The Feeling have made that most perfect of pop records for 2008 and should duly be given credit where credit's due. And if they aren't, then something must seriously be wrong.