In retrospect Feelings is probably the last time that David Byrne made a conscious effort to make an album that might sell to an audience beyond his most obsessed fans. Where his previous self titled album had been a mature mix of material with a very definite adult feel about it, Feelings was partly a playful collaboration with trip-hop act Morcheeba. As unlikely as this collaboration sounds, it really does work very well, giving many of the songs a much more danceable edge than usual and providing Byrne with a range of musical backdrops that allowed the album to alter it’s mood and tempo regularly without it sounding confusing. A bit like Talking Heads really…
Again Byrne manages to shift seamlessly between various types of song, from the amusing (“Miss America”), strangely romantic (“A Soft Seduction”), the oddly threatening (“Dance On Vaseline”), peaceful (“Burnt By The Sun”) and, perhaps most unexpectedly, rocking (“The Civil Wars”). Lyrically it’s all up to Byrne’s usual high quality, but it’s the tunes that stand out throughout.
Of special note though is the final track, “They Are In Love”, a seemingly woozy romantic song which details domestic violence, drug abuse and a couple who just cannot see the plain fact that they would be much happier without each other. It’s as if Byrne had attended the Tom Waits school of songwriting for the purposes of this one song. It’s nothing if not unique.