The Feeling Twelve Stops and Home

It’s not that obvious yet, but there is a quiet uprising going on in certain musical circles for a return to the comforting sounds of ’70s AM radio. Like every revival, this one is met with much division: the more complex, layered folky sounds of Midlake have struck a chord with indie rock cynics, while a more electric band that’s aiming directly for a venue with bleachers, like the Feeling, are approached with extreme caution. Sure, you can’t compare Fleetwood Mac to Hall & Oates, but there isn’t a doubt in even the grumpiest music snob’s mind that both are brilliant. While the Feeling’s stylised and sterilised soft rock isn’t "brilliant,” it’s of the same class of musicianship of Supertramp and ELO. Twelve Stops and Home, their debut album, is a pleasing batch of contrived pop rock that focuses heavily on building persistent, sing-along melodies by tickling an electric piano or laying down a superficial guitar solo. "I Want You Now” and "Love It When You Call” are bona fide, bubbly hits for mainstream consumption, while "Same Old Stuff” sounds like a Todd Rundgren original. Of course, their ballads need a little work, but if Keane can top the charts with their U2 worship why can’t the Feeling with their adoration for 10cc? Trying to evoke the music that ruled the roost from three decades ago with high-gloss production and soothing melodies won’t resonate with everyone and may be begging for punishment. But for those people who still dig out their vinyl copy of Crime of the Century every Saturday afternoon, Twelve Stops will feel right at home. (Interscope)