Featured Album

May 09, 2006
Drowned in Sound
Pop/Rock, Post-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

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.
James Christopher Monger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. In the Beginninghttp://itunes.apple.com/album/in-the-beginning/id151566563?i=151565587&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  2. The Mountainhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/the-mountain/id151566563?i=151565605&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  3. She's Walking Outhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/shes-walking-out/id151566563?i=151565619&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  4. Helicoptershttp://itunes.apple.com/album/helicopters/id151566563?i=151565642&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  5. In the Endhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/in-the-end/id151566563?i=151565711&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  6. Oh Shoplifterhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/oh-shoplifter/id151566563?i=151565750&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  7. Outrohttp://itunes.apple.com/album/outro/id151566563?i=151565804&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  8. Halo the Harpoonshttp://itunes.apple.com/album/halo-the-harpoons/id151566563?i=151565822&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  9. It Takes Timehttp://itunes.apple.com/album/it-takes-time/id151566563?i=151565964&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  10. Destroyerhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/destroyer/id151566563?i=151566123&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  11. Baby Blueshttp://itunes.apple.com/album/baby-blues/id151566563?i=151566204&uo=5&at=11l9vR
  12. The House We Live Inhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/the-house-we-live-in/id151566563?i=151566344&uo=5&at=11l9vR
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