Without Feathers

  • Record Label: Vice
  • Release Date: May 9, 2006
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22

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  1. ArthurV
    Dec 8, 2006
    9
    I was disappointed when I first heard Witout Feathers because it wasn't as emotional and deep and explosive as Logic Will Break Your Heart but after repeated listens WF turns out to be a great, solid album from beginning to end. This is simply a case of albums over bands. How boring would it be if they released an album that sounded like LWBYH every two years for the next eight I was disappointed when I first heard Witout Feathers because it wasn't as emotional and deep and explosive as Logic Will Break Your Heart but after repeated listens WF turns out to be a great, solid album from beginning to end. This is simply a case of albums over bands. How boring would it be if they released an album that sounded like LWBYH every two years for the next eight years? Bands need to evolve and experiment. And that's exactly what they do on this cut. They traded in their downtown loft for a cabin in the woods. This is a well-produced album rock rock album with notable guest stars (Auf Der Mar, Emily Haines) which given how great LWBYH, it had no guest stars. Keep in mind, people, that LWBYH had some bad parts. Not every album can be OK Computer. This record is getting the wrong kind of response. They couldn't keep gettiing compared to Interpol (you can't say their sophomore album was better, by the way), either. Expand
  2. AndrewA
    May 15, 2006
    3
    When a band changes its style for a new album they have to expect some of the older fans to be disappointed. Its all good and well to say they are moving on to a new sound and advancing but if it aint broke then dont fix it - disappointed.
  3. BrendanD
    Jun 30, 2006
    3
    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 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
  4. Mack
    May 11, 2006
    8
    I'm going to have to defend the Stills for this one. My introduction to this album was through the song "Destroyer" on their Myspace site, which was initially quite shocking - U2 "Angel of Harlem"-esque horns and major chords were not at all what I expected, but once I got over the shock (learning that a lineup change had occurred helped explain things) I found the songs getting I'm going to have to defend the Stills for this one. My introduction to this album was through the song "Destroyer" on their Myspace site, which was initially quite shocking - U2 "Angel of Harlem"-esque horns and major chords were not at all what I expected, but once I got over the shock (learning that a lineup change had occurred helped explain things) I found the songs getting stuck in my head. And despite the 'transformation', the album actually sounds like the Stills - this isn't such a drastic departure after all. I think it's admirable that they opted to take a different path considering the praise their debut earned - and that they could have easily written Logic Pt. 2 and moved plenty of records. This isn't groundbreaking, and nor is it flawless, but when it works, such as on the opening "In the Beginning", the results are wonderful. It's certainly not mediocre, as it stands up to multiple listens just as well as, if not better than, Logic. Sure, the edge is mostly gone, and be how it may that I enjoy moody music, it doesn't hurt to have some upbeat music in the rotation now and then. It's definitely worth a listen - the only caveat being the need for an open mind to digest their new ideas. Expand
  5. AndrewE
    May 11, 2006
    9
    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.
  6. JohnR
    May 12, 2006
    3
    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.
  7. Shari
    Jun 28, 2006
    6
    Argh. If I had never heard Logic Will Break Your Heart, I would think this was an 'okay' album, listenable but not particularly grabbing. However, having heard Logic, I couldn't possibly be more dissapointed. The great thing about Logic was its overall energy. I mean, those were some seriously solid songs. Any of them could have been singles. But this.... it's not even Argh. If I had never heard Logic Will Break Your Heart, I would think this was an 'okay' album, listenable but not particularly grabbing. However, having heard Logic, I couldn't possibly be more dissapointed. The great thing about Logic was its overall energy. I mean, those were some seriously solid songs. Any of them could have been singles. But this.... it's not even that particularly artful - mostly musical pablum that is easy to ignore. Expand
  8. jasona
    Jun 3, 2006
    5
    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.
  9. R.
    Jun 9, 2006
    8
    Instead of immediately comparing WF to LWBYH (which is one of my favorites of all time), I decided to give the new CD some time. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. WF really shows the band's musical range. Nearly every song has little bits of LWBYH contained in it. Personally, I think the last two-thirds of the album are great (from "Helicopters" onward). "Baby Blues" is Instead of immediately comparing WF to LWBYH (which is one of my favorites of all time), I decided to give the new CD some time. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. WF really shows the band's musical range. Nearly every song has little bits of LWBYH contained in it. Personally, I think the last two-thirds of the album are great (from "Helicopters" onward). "Baby Blues" is the most similar to LWBYH, and also my favorite song on this cd. Overall, I think the critics have been too hard on the cd. One other comment: For a song that reminds one of The Cars, there is an interesting verse in "Baby Blues": "'So lets make it fast, Like lightning through the cars." Expand
  10. BillB
    Aug 22, 2008
    10
    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.
  11. James
    Dec 28, 2006
    9
    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 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
  12. DanC
    May 14, 2006
    6
    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 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
  13. Andrew
    May 14, 2006
    5
    This album is ok but it is nowhere near the first album. The loss of the guitarist Greg and giving the vocal duties mostly to Dave proved costly to their sound. However, the songs as a whole aren't bad but nothing really stands out to me except the song "Helicopters", which has the old vocalist Tim singing on it. Though "Helicopters" just makes you want to put your LWBYH cd in.
  14. BlackR
    May 25, 2006
    10
    Very good album - love the beat
  15. riecks
    May 26, 2006
    3
    really disappointed in this one...LOGIC is a fave and this is BORING
  16. JeremyW
    Jun 11, 2006
    5
    I loved Logic. I simply do not hear the same band on their second full length release. We all know why. But why?I just saw them live here in Calgary and besides a couple songs from the new album everyone ROCKED out to the old stuff way more. It's better. Rich. Passionate. The new stuff seems to be Dave Hamelins vision and it is dry. Tim Fletcher's voice is way sexier and his I loved Logic. I simply do not hear the same band on their second full length release. We all know why. But why?I just saw them live here in Calgary and besides a couple songs from the new album everyone ROCKED out to the old stuff way more. It's better. Rich. Passionate. The new stuff seems to be Dave Hamelins vision and it is dry. Tim Fletcher's voice is way sexier and his presence is far more engaging. Where are the guitars? Oh they left the band over musical differences. Pity. Bring him back. Do you hear me STILLS. You should be Canada's favorite Band but instead you are a major dissappointment. Expand
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    The result is the work of an effectively new band--and a much better one. [12 May 2006, p.83]
  2. Feathers seems less a continuation of Logic than a valuable complement, cheerful and heartfelt as the latter was somber and stylized.
  3. Without Feathers may lack its predecessor's apocalyptic vision, but it's a new direction for a group that was heading down an awfully familiar -- and extremely congested -- road.