Felt

The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories

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On The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories, Felt finally transforms its oft-mentioned Television influence into the band's own, distinctly English brand of elegant guitar pop. Guitarists Lawrence Hayward and the classically trained Maurice Deebank work against each other in breathtakingly cascading figures while Hayward drapes his deadpan vocal delivery across the shimmering bliss of tracks like "Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow," "Crystal Ball," and "Whirlpool Vision of Shame." This is the pinnacle of Felt's Cherry Red catalog, evolving from the starker stance of the group's first two releases -- Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty and The Splendour of Fear -- to a skewed yet gorgeous pop vision that eludes comparison. Producer John Leckie (XTC, the Stone Roses, the Fall) understands the source of the group's power and highlights the crisp, effects-free guitars chattering incessantly beneath Hayward's poetically charged lyrics.

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