18th May saw the release of Courtney Barnett’s second solo album Tell Me How You Really Feel, and after the triumph of her debut there were a lot people looking out for her sophomore album. She released some great songs on the lead up to this album including ‘Nameless, Faceless’ and ‘City Looks Pretty’, both of which heightened the anticipation for the release.
The album delivers on all fronts, from it’s more shadowed songs like ‘Help Your Self’ and ‘Walking on Eggshells’ , to the more aggressive and upfront tracks such as ‘I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch’. Barnett walks both of these lines incredibly well, as both ends of the spectrum have emotion attached to it.
The flow of the album is a key feature as you’re never left bored at any point, as Barnett does a great job of taking you through ups and downs, which helps you stay hooked and interested.
The lyrical content throughout the album is fine piece of work with lines like, “You got a lot on your mind/ You know that half the time/It’s only half as true/Don’t let it swallow you, and “Shave your head to see how it feels/Emotionally it’s not that different/But to the hand it’s beautiful.” However it’s guitars which really grabbed me, whether it’s the ripping solo in ‘Nameless, Faceless’ or the slow drone which lingers throughout ‘Sunday Roast’.
This is a great addition to Barnett’s ever growing music portfolio, as she has yet to release something below par. This album could easily be spoken about in the next 20 years as one of the indie favourites, along with her debut album. It was great to hear that she didn’t step out of her wheelhouse because it’s quite clear there’s so much more she can do in there, and hopefully she will be doing that for many years to come.
Words by Alex Wise @AJWise