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Forever Breathes the Lonely Word

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Album Review

Words like "shimmering" and "jangling" seem like such rock clichés, but if any guitars ever deserved the term, those on Forever Breathes the Lonely Word certainly do. The album is almost too perfect a pop masterpiece — upbeat, succinct, and wildly catchy — with the only out-of-place element being Lawrence Hayward's Tom Verlaine-esque vocals. That's not a drawback, though — the imperfect vocals give the album just the kick it needs to stand apart from the rest of the flock (much like their contemporaries, the Smiths, come to think of it). It may be overstating the case to say that the album laid the groundwork for a lot of pop music that followed, but the sound was certainly influential in certain quarters, and considering the success of some of those followers, the fact that this album wasn't a hit may be all the proof you need of the injustices of the music industry.


Formed: 1979 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Felt was the project of Britain's enigmatic Lawrence Hayward, a singer/songwriter who transformed his long-standing obsession with the music of Tom Verlaine and Television into an impressive catalog of minimalist pop gems and, ultimately, cult stardom. The first Felt single, "Index," was produced by Hayward alone in his bedroom on a portable cassette player; released in 1979, its primitive, impressionistic sound stood in stark contrast to the sleek solemnity of the new wave (as did Hayward's much-discussed...
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