Crazy Rhythms


Even if you love The Feelies, you need to pull back and see this album for what it was—the westernmost Krautrock album of the Seventies. OK, 1980, we stretch a little. Because with Anton Fier playing drums, The Feelies were simply machines. Glenn Mercer sings like Jonathan Richman’s more serious sibling, but he still loves his brother. The details are very small and specific! The boys next door? Well, you’ll have to tune in to find out who he was. The assignment laid down by the Velvets—find the world in one chord—was taken by nobody more seriously than The Feelies. I need to get a little personal—13-year-old me? This fucked me entirely up and I never really recovered from he fact that they got all pretty and jangly and sweet after this and gave up their uptight roots. The Fripp/Rother/Reed buzzsaw EBow guitar sound is here, too, in a really gorgeous way. Keep time and burn, the two modes. This album is a manual of how to do repetition and it stands with the greats—Velvets, NEU!, Kraftwerk, James Brown. I’m a little freaked out that listening to it today (August 22 2022) it makes me as giddy and hopeful as it did 42 years ago. Something spiritually powerful and important was captured here. It is better than other music.

Sasha Frere-Jones