The Feelers - One World
It baffles me how this band is so popular in New Zealand. I read from various sources that their three albums to date have all gone multi-platinum in their home country. Now, whether you can achieve this feat in NZ by having everyone associated with the band buying copies of said albums for friends and families at Christmas time I'm not sure, but, whatever the case, it certainly tells me something about a great many New Zealanders.
It tells me they're morons. And probably going deaf.
For this new album is just punishing to listen to. There's been some discussion over at the nzmusic.com forums recently about compression and production values with regards to the 'loudness war', and nowhere is that conflict better illustrated than with this album. Check out the waveform on the title track from the album, the preposterously and pretensiously entitled 'One World'...
Just look at it! It's so ... fucking ... LOUD! And the whole album is like this. Everything is compressed (ie. quiet bits made louder, louder bits made quieter), then the resulting flat sound has been cranked up (literally) to 11 at the final mastering phase, resulting in this travesty of noise you see above, that spends more time in the red area of your audio monitoring meters than out of it.
And that's about all I've got to say about this album. I couldn't actually listen to it for more than 10 minutes at a time without having to stop to give my ears a rest. The constant mind-numbing onslaught of noise removes any sense of dynamics entirely, and without any dynamics, music just sounds boring. It doesn't help, of course, that lead singer James Reid spends a lot of time sounding like a constipated Bruce Springsteen during his 'Born in the USA' era, or that not one single song has anything in the way of a discernible hook, innovative structure, or slightest hint of actual emotion.
The absolute epitome of bland, soulless, homogenised corporate rock.
Avoid like the plague.