Released: February 26, 2021
One thing that is exciting about good dance music is its ability to manage energy, whether it is a DJ set or an individual artist’s record. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is a great example. Whether you’re listening to Harold Melvin, Thelma Houston or the Communards, the song kind of simmers and then just soars at “Ahhh, baby!” in the chorus. That moment is like jet propulsion, but what makes it great is that there is a more subdued restlessness before and after. I get that there are a lot of ways that energy can move through a song in a less obvious, bombastic way, but even lower key material should move.
I get that Feelings might temper that movement a bit with its dream pop leanings, but instead of being tempered, the album really never gets in motion. It flatlines too much, even on four-on-the-floor tracks like “Wifi Beach.” To its credit, the conga-heavy beats’ easy grooves fit nicely on the laid back tracks, creating a kind of late night vibe of a party winding down, but it’s hard to wind down from a party that never got into full swing.
In the end, this is both good dream pop and good disco, but not great at either even if it sometimes finds interesting intersections of both.