This Feeling's Called Goodbye


aec.brop0032.2 1/31/05 New

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    This Feeling's Called Goodbye Brothers Past
    1. This Feeling's Called Goodbye Brothers Past
    2. This Feelings Called Goodbye Home Grown Music
    3. This Feelings Called Goodbye (Dig) SCI Fidelity Records

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Review Text Unlike their jam band peers and predecessors, who tend to trace their musical influences to old-time country, blues, and rock & roll, Philadelphia quartet Brothers Past displays lots of pop, rock, and dance music influences of the 1960s, '70s, and early '80s on its third album, This Feeling's Called Goodbye. They do fit into the jam band category in the sense that they seem more comfortable playing than constructing songs. Even though no track here lasts longer than six minutes, the songs clearly sound as though the music came first while the lyrics, full of insecurity and lovelorn angst, came second and were shoehorned into existing riff patterns. And when the band takes the occasional moment or two for an instrumental break, for example in "Simple Gift of Man," you can tell how much they want to go on for another five or ten. But from the first moment, keyed to Tom McKee's bright synthesizer sounds, Tom Hamilton's quick strumming, and the energetic rhythm section of Clay Parnell and Rick Lowenberg, this is sparkling pop music that fearlessly mixes up its influences. "Forget You Know Me" employs a synth pop pattern that could be programmed next to Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," but then there's an acoustic guitar part that recalls Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock." The instrumental "Exhale," with its acoustic guitar playing and found sounds, also channels Paul Simon, this time mixed with Pink Floyd. And such songs as "State Police" and "Too Late to Call" suggest at least a nodding acquaintance with Beatles '65, if not to the many '80s power pop bands who played in much the same style. Amazingly, it all comes off sounding fresh, if only because the arrangements keep changing -- get used to a standard rhythm, and you'll find that it has abruptly turned to reggae accents or an electronic pattern; decide that the group wants to be a new version of A Flock of Seagulls, and they'll suddenly come on like the next Rush. It all sounds like Brothers Past is having much more fun, at least playing together, than the lyrics suggest the bandmembers are in their lives. ~ William Ruhlmann

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