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Without Feathers

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Album Review

Logic Will Break Your Heart, with its brooding post-punk soundscapes and art rock swagger, topped many a best-of list in 2003, branding the Stills as the next Interpol, British Sea Power, etc. For their long-awaited follow-up, the Stills ditched their Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen records for Ziggy Stardust, early Elton John, and Muswell Hillbillies-era Kinks, resulting in a record that is the physical embodiment of polarity. Without Feathers isn't so much a departure as it is a complete reinvention for the Montreal quartet. Only the "Killing Moon"-esque "Helicopters" and the Spoon-worthy "Halo the Harpoons" hint at the band's eyeliner past. The earthy arrangements of Hammond organ, piano, guitar, bass, and drums that populate the rest of the album recall the group's Canadian forefather, Neil Young. The two-punch opening onslaught of "In the Beginning" and "The Mountain" sets the tone, relying on the kind of gritty, melodic, and distinctly blue-collar aesthetic that drove the Doves' "Some Cities" in 2005. The barrage of midtempo filler/killer that follows almost brings the album to a complete halt, but the Stills redeem themselves on the rowdy, horn-led "It Takes Time," "Destroyer," and "Baby Blues," the latter a winsome duet with Metric/Broken Social Scene's Emily Haines that shows they can balance the two styles with grace and dignity. Without Feathers may lack its predecessor's apocalyptic vision, but it's a new direction for a group that was heading down an awfully familiar — and extremely congested — road.

Customer Reviews

simply waiting

By far the album has a much different feel than "Logic Will Break Your Heart". I find myself waiting for The Stills that I know from "Logic . . .” The rolling drums aren't pulling out their dancing shoes! It feels as though every song is longing to break into the dream pop melodies that I have known to grow and love about The Stills. But it never really seems to happen. Don't see any songs on the album making their way onto a mix tape. Songs that come close: Halo the Harpoons, Destroyer, and Baby Blues.

An Excellent Departure From "Logic"

For those of us who loved Logic Will Break Your Heart, hearing that Without Feathers was completely different was not a good thing. The fact is, yes, the album differs greatly from the first album in that the pounding, great sounding hooks are not as apparent with the first listen to Without Feathers. The good news, though, is that this is a great album on it's own. The hooks are different, yes, but just as catchy- I would challenge anyone not to hum "It Takes Time" or "Oh Shoplifter" after listening to this cd. David Hamelin's introspective lyrics (which made "Logic" great) are still here, as are the emotive and pleasantly smooth vocals of both Hamelin and Tim Fletcher. I was able to see The Stills live a few weeks ago, and the new songs fit in surprisingly well with the songs from Logic. If you listen to this album stictly of it's own worth and try not to compare in in style or with expectations from "Logic", I think you will find it is a great cd from a great band. It gets better with each listen.

Without, for sure.

I loved loved Logic. Was it dark, melodic, rockin? yes. Without Feathers, to quote a popular music magazine - "allows the Stills to get back to their hippie roots" - its absolutely true and not a compliment. What I loved about them ain't there anymore. Its dissappointing. So sad.


Formed: 2000 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Stills only bore scant similarities to Interpol, but like those suit-wearing New Yorkers, the Stills launched their career with a stately post-punk sound inspired by the likes of Echo & the Bunnymen and Joy Division. Having known one another since the age of 12, the band's founding members -- vocalist Tim Fletcher, drummer Dave Hamelin, guitarist Greg Paquet, and bassist Oliver Crowe -- played in various bands before forming the Stills in 2000. Two years later, they temporarily left their native...
Full Bio
Without Feathers, The Stills
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