Without Feathers - The Stills
Without Feathers Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: This long-overdue second album finds the Montreal band shedding its dark, Joy Division-influenced sound for one that more closely resembles classic rock.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. The result is the work of an effectively new band--and a much better one. [12 May 2006, p.83]
  2. 80
    While [Hamelin's] lyrics are less likely to be mistaken for emo (good), they're also less evocative (bad). [#20, p.102]
  3. 80
    Intriguing. [Jul 2007, p.116]
  4. Feathers seems less a continuation of Logic than a valuable complement, cheerful and heartfelt as the latter was somber and stylized.
  5. By abandoning the gloom and doom and embracing quirky power-pop, the Stills seem to have morphed into a less minimalist Spoon, and your replay mileage may vary based on how strongly you liked what they were doing before.
  6. It wouldn’t be so bad if The Stills didn’t kill the majority of the newly minted loose-limbed percussion and flighty major key romps ("The Mountain")--with drivel choruses and intermediate tricks (flooding the speakers with a porridge of every conceivable instrument).
  7. Where melody, mood, and technique dominated Logic, Without Feathers sinks into a tuneless no man’s land.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 4 out of 16
  1. BillB
    Aug 22, 2008
    This is my favorite album of the stills so far! Its better than Logic and destroys Oceans will Rise. Every song is catchy and there isn't one song I dislike. Expand
  2. AndrewE
    May 11, 2006
    It's funny how replacing shoe-gazing depression with energy, fun and sing-a-long choruses makes them a worse band. Not all the songs hit, but there's plenty of good music to be heard here. Not to mention the new songs are killer live tracks. Expand
  3. James
    Dec 28, 2006
    First thoughts: this doesn't sound anything like LWBYH, where the hell is Fletcher? Who cares what's been done before. Good luck breaking new ground to anyone who tries! I read review after review of reviewers comparing this album to other bands. Of course that is going to happen over and over again since there are decades of artists in this country and others constantly making music... Every day... This album will either captivate you or completely turn you off of the Stills. Just make sure you listen to it before you buy. Expand
  4. DanC
    May 14, 2006
    the follow-up to a great first album is a hard thing to pull off. one is either criticized for too much of a departure from their first album (as we see here) or for not departing enough from their first record (The Strokes' ROOM ON FIRE being a case example). I have no problem with The Stills changing direction so long as the passion and panache from LOGIC... is still within the music. And if they want to go ahead and rearrange the entire band, that's fine too. The problem I have with this album isn't that it is different, but that there's no hook in the songs and it seems as if they almost intentionally avoid such hooks that are built within these tracks - attempting to be some kind of grateful dead-esque jam band instead of a kick-ass alternative band. "Halo The Harpoon," "Helicopters" and "Baby Blues" are all good songs - but could've achieved the level of "Love & Death" and "Still In Love Song" had this record seemed more polished, less optimistically deviant and a little more proud of itself. I've seen these guys twice live and they're amazing musicians. I'm sure they'll make a couple more great albums before they hang up their instruments. Somewhere in WITHOUT FEATHERS is a great second album and either they couldn't find it or I can't hear it. Expand
  5. jasona
    Jun 3, 2006
    Hey, I loved LWBYH. I could sit down and listen to it straight through and enjoy the whole thing. It had a nice flow to it. That said, this album is consistent as well. It's consistently boring. It's lacking tunes. I will give it this much, it has great production. Unfortunately who listens to an album because of great production? Probably only Rick Rubin. Expand
  6. JohnR
    May 12, 2006
    If I said that this was a bitter disappointment, I would probably be flattering this new release somewhat. Their first record 'Logic..' was a masterpiece whereas 'Without Feathers' is really quite poor. A great shame. Expand
  7. BrendanD
    Jun 30, 2006
    I'm still trying to figure out what people see in the Stills. I wasn't unimpressed by their debut, but I haven't heard anything by this band so far that makes them worthy of indie worship (part of which, I have to think, is due to the accolades given by Zach Braff, who included a lot of their stuff in teen-indie darling "Garden State"). I decided to give them another chance when I finally sat down and listened to the soundtrack from "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," but I found their track to be one of only two songs I DIDN'T like, the other being Avril Lavigne's horrendous cover of the show's theme song. So I wasn't expecting much of their latest release, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The feel of "Without Feathers" is very mundane and samey-sounding (I'd almost liken them to an indie version of Matchbox 20, but that would be a little TOO harsh of a criticism), and perhaps most importantly, there don't seem to be a lot of hooks. I've been hearing that people find resemblances to the Kinks or Elton John, but I'm hearing the more angsty side of Ryan Adams or that awful "Bad Day" song. This is mostly fizzle and hype with no real "pop." Expand

See all 16 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Sophomore Slump? Comparing the Second Albums of Buzz Bands

    Sophomore Slump? Comparing the Second Albums of Buzz Bands Image
    Published: April 10, 2010
    With the second album from MGMT arriving in stores this week, we take the opportunity to explore how other bands have fared after releasing a successful debut. Is it possible to have a good second album?