|Barnett, Courtney / Tell Me How You Really Feel|
|Add Date:||2018-09-13|| ||Pull Date:||2018-11-15|| |
|Week Ending:||11 Nov||4 Nov||28 Oct||21 Oct||14 Oct||7 Oct||30 Sep||23 Sep|
Courtney Barnett became your favorite Australian rock star not named Kevin Parker in 2015 with the release of her breakout album Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, and now just months after her collaboration with Kurt Vile, she’s back with her sophomore record, the much-less verbose Tell Me How You Really Feel. Sometimes I Sit and Think was full of funny observations of everyday mundanities, backed by instrumentation that was kind of haphazard but wildly energetic. This time, the script is flipped: Barnett tries to tackle headier topics on this album, such as depression and misogyny, although it lacks lot of the wit that came through on Sometimes I Sit and Think. Musically, this album manages to come off as both more focused and less pointed than its predecessor. All in all, Tell Me How You Really Feel isn’t a charmless affair, but it can’t help but feel kind of burnt out, even on its best songs.|
Favorites: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10
1) “Hopefulessness” (4:48) – Slow, dreary guitar track that establishes a truly unsettling atmosphere. There’s something like a guitar solo in the last minute-and-a-half of the song, and it makes me think of a ghost moaning and wailing in a haunted house—an apt metaphor for the song.
2) “City Looks Pretty” (4:42)* – Hey, here’s the Courtney Barnett we know and love. It’s a peppier and more uptempo rock song with wryly funny lyrics about not feeling like yourself. Song changes shape in the last two minutes, slowing down and drifting off.
3) “Charity” (4:10) – A more straightforward rock song. Sounds kind of like one of those lo-fi, inspired-by-punk-but-not-actually-punk bands you’d hear all over the radio in the ‘90s.
4) “Need a Little Time” (3:58)* – Kind of jangly song about taking time to yourself. Softly but passionately sung, with a great guitar solo right after the two-minute mark, and another one at the song’s end.
5) “Nameless, Faceless” (3:15)* – Deceptively upbeat song about dealing with trolls and angry men. (It’s a wonder how Barnett can empathize with guys like these and take the piss out of them at the same time.) Jangly strumming in the verses gives way to crunchy riffage in the chorus.
6) “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch” (1:50) – FCC “b****,” “s***.” Barnett swaps out the jangle pop of previous tracks for grungy aggression, but her vocal delivery feels kind of inert.
7) “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence” (2:48)* – Punchy and upbeat guitar rock and snappy lyrics, like some other favorites on the album.
8) “Help Your Self” (3:02) – This song struts and swaggers, with some pretty gnarly guitar breaks. Barnett’s confidence on this track is a welcome change of pace from the more doubt-wracked parts across the rest of the album. (Oh, and there’s a cowbell.)
9) “Walkin’ on Eggshells” (4:01) – Slower and more reserved guitar rock, with some piano notes thrown in. It’s a pleasant track, it’s just...unremarkable.
10) “Sunday Roast” (4:44)* – Warm, reverbed guitar with some gently tumbling drums, kind of country-ish. Slow and laid-back, but not in the way of other songs on the album—this one feels more like contentment than laziness. Opens up into a nice little sing-along in the last two minutes that plays out to the end of the song.