The leading exponents of the mid-noughties "yacht rock" scene, Brits School graduates the Feeling appear to have abandoned their '70s revivalist stance, judging by the collaborations on their third studio album, Together We Were Made. The follow-up to their number one sophomore album, Join with Us, sees in-demand remixers Freemasons work their dancefloor magic on "Searched Every Corner," a shimmering slice of Kylie-esque vocal house, avant-garde chanteuse Roisin Murphy lend her seductive charms to the funky disco licks and '80s reverb snares of "Dance for the Lights," and electro-pop ice maiden Sophie Ellis-Bextor finally teaming up with bassist husband Richard Jones on the languid grooves and spacy video game bleeps of the enchanting "Leave Me Out of It." But like fellow AOR purveyors the Hoosiers' recent excursion into more synth-driven territory, the band can't resist reverting back to its familiar ways, as on the Supertramp-esque soft rock of "A Hundred Sinners (Come and Get It)," the breezy harmonies of stripped-down ballad "Love and Care," and the foot-stomping piano-led blues of "Mr. Grin." The album may soon ditch any attempt to embrace the dancefloor, but it's far from a retread of their former glories, with the likes of lead single "Set My World on Fire" building on their jangly guitar pop sound with Vampire Weekend-esque Afro-beat riffs, subtle flashes of electronica, and an almighty tribal singalong, their trademark Queen-inspired winding guitar solos joined by bombing sound effects, sinister trip-hop beats, and mournful strings on "Another Soldier," and the frenetically strummed acoustics and military rhythms of "Another Life" giving Mumford & Sons a run for their money on a convincing foray into anthemic nu-folk. With several nods to their prog pop past, Together We Were Made doesn't always utilize their newfound creative streak, but when it makes that leap into unchartered waters, it's an often captivating record that invites their critics to write them off at their peril.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien