Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

London Grammar – How Does It Feel

Is “uncontroversial” a feeling?


Michael Hong: Closer to the stateliness of “Californian Soil” than an EDM remix with any life, which is to say, closer to a [4] than a [7].

Ian Mathers: I am not saying that I wish this song was longer, what I am saying is that this intro is way too long for a song of this length. Maybe it would work if “How Does It Feel” either really exploded after the intro or if it was a smouldering enough slow burn to make that first minute feel less… intro-ish, but with neither happening the balance just feels off.

Nortey Dowuona: Gorgeous Nolan synths sweep in the guitar ticks and fleas as Hannah’s gossamer voice is draped over papier mâché drums and shuddering, warped echoes as disassembled pianos fall out of the sky. Hannah croons “how does it feel” with a yearning that feels thin and like a spite is slowly wriggling up to the surface.

Alfred Soto: In 1993, Annie Lennox might’ve sung “How Does It Feel” but graced it with a glimmering porcelain production. In 2021 “How Does It Feel” is affected “class” without the right clothes.

Will Adams: A bit like if MUNA’s “Stayaway” were sapped of its urgency, “How Does It Feel” finds London Grammar reaching for the pop milieu with the help of Steve Mac and a rote funk-adjacent bassline.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s always a shame when it appears that a band’s response to the waning success of their distinctive identity is to do the same thing, but less distinctively. Why London Grammar have made the Allardyceian hiring of Steve Mac for this is unclear — their album would be number one regardless — but while his influence is audible, it isn’t invigorating. Hannah Reid’s piercing vocal and its spacious surroundings both sound stale, the junctures are clumsy and the repetition is more abrasive than adhesive. At its core there remains something, but the not unwelcome addition of a “Can’t Feel My”-bassline sums up the lack of imagination. Even Allardyce will be relegated eventually.

Juana Giaimo: The beginning seems to be an introduction to something either explosive or darker, but it finishes being just another rather generic synthpop song. 

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