Faunts - Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. (2009)

Friendly Fire

On a first listen to Faunts' Feel.Love.Thining.Of., the listener might call Gibbard shennanigans and decry another melodically intricate electronic indie pop album in a post-Postal Service musical economy. In a closer examination, the songwriting hits closer to '82 than 2002. In a strange array of live instruments and electronic sampling, the band has sort of morphed itself into a musical cyborg -- is that the drummer playing through a filter, or did the laptop take over for the past four measures? And are those mopey vocals necessary?

Yes to both, my friend. In a strange alchemist's formula, Faunts has managed to make emotive music that is challenging, intricate, melodic and moody, with a killer pop sense and a gravitas that's hard to achieve with blips and echoey guitar effects.

Defying convention, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. plays like a movie in reverse -- it starts with the title track, the poppiest one of the bunch, and slowly breaks down until the album peaks with "Das Malefitz," an instrumental that could have been ripped from the tensest moments of a late `80s thriller. The songs that follow are more subdued, introspective. Everything culminates in the penultimate "So Far Away," a song tracked with minimal rhythm and light guitars. "Explain" rounds out the album with a "feel-good" pop direction -- the benediction after the car crash.

The album is an anomaly in this day and age. All the songs are interesting enough to stand on their own, but are best digested as a full piece of work. In the day of the concept album or the digital single, too often a piece of work suffers from a bad song or a lack of cohesion. The fact that Feel.Love.Thinking.Of has achieved both has given a credence to an album I wanted to reject based on genre description alone. These Faunts may just have something going here.