Tell Me How You Really Feel

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Tell Me How You Really Feel
TellMeHowYouReallyFeel.jpg
Studio album by
Released18 May 2018 (2018-05-18)
RecordedJuly 2017
StudioSoundpark, Northcote, Victoria, Australia
Length37:16
Label
Producer
Courtney Barnett chronology
Lotta Sea Lice
(2017)
Tell Me How You Really Feel
(2018)
Singles from Tell Me How You Really Feel
  1. "Nameless, Faceless"
    Released: 16 February 2018
  2. "Need a Little Time"
    Released: 16 March 2018[1]
  3. "City Looks Pretty"
    Released: 19 April 2018
  4. "Sunday Roast"
    Released: 10 May 2018[2]
  5. "Charity"
    Released: August 23, 2018[3]

Tell Me How You Really Feel is the second studio album by Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett. It was released on 18 May 2018 by Barnett's Milk! Records, Mom + Pop Music, and Marathon Artists. The album received generally positive reviews from critics.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 2018, Tell Me How You Really Feel won the Best Rock Album.[4]

Recording and production[edit]

The album was recorded in Melbourne with producer Burke Reid, who also worked on Barnett's previous solo album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Barnett was joined on the album by her live rhythm section of Bones Sloane (bass, backing vocals) and Dave Mudie (drums, backing vocals), as well as guitarist Dan Luscombe of The Drones. The album also features guest appearances from the Deal sisters, Kim and Kelley.[5] The album was teased with a video shared across Barnett's social media outlets, in which Barnett tries out different instruments and sings snippets of new songs.[6] The album's lead single, "Nameless, Faceless", was released on 16 February 2018.[7] A music video for "Need a Little Time" directed by Danny Cohen was released on 15 March 2018.[8] "City Looks Pretty" was released on 19 April 2018 along with an accompanying music video directed by Barnett.[9] A video for "Sunday Roast" was released on 10 May 2018.

Music and lyrics[edit]

Tell Me How You Really Feel is characterised by casual guitar-driven rock songs generally arranged in verse-chorus structures. The guitar work ranges from noisy to subdued. Barnett's vocals are delivered in her distinctive laid-back "sing-speak" style with rich, rhyming lyrics. Among other themes, the album explores the challenges and frustrations of being a lyricist upon whom others have placed high expectations.[10] Barnett's style on this album has been compared to grunge bands Nirvana and Hole and to indie rock musicians Pavement and Liz Phair.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Barnett performing with her band at The Tivoli in Brisbane in August 2018 in support of the album
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[12]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[13]
The A.V. ClubC[14]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[15]
The Guardian4/5 stars[11]
The Independent4/5 stars[16]
NME4/5 stars[17]
Pitchfork7.4/10[10]
Q4/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[19]
ViceA−[20]

Upon its release, Tell Me How You Really Feel received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 27 reviews.[12] Laura Snapes of Pitchfork called the album "smaller, more introverted", and wrote that the lower energy yielded an "adventurous and nuanced" album that "tells stories of tenderness and frustration".[10] Jeremy Winograd of Slant Magazine said that although "it may lack some of the instant affability of 2015's Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit", that decision was by design".[21] Writing for the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot said that the songs felt "deceptively buoyant, effortless".[15] NME's Dannii Leivers wrote that the album's charm lies in the "dark and melancholy" way that Barnett is "exposing her vulnerabilities and fears".[17] Nate Rogers of Flood Magazine wrote that "Barnett's [second] LP is her most somber to date – an emotional drop in tuning, in a sense. It's still littered with her Petty-esque sense of hooks – "Charity" and "Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence" in particular are earworms par excellence – but lyrically, it's a raw one."[22]

Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club considered the album's languid nature a detriment, saying that it "lacks the spry, buzzing energy of her debut", which causes it to be a "disappointing and muted record".[14] Multiple critics agreed, however, that "Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence" was a standout song from the album, with Kot calling it a "little pop jewel"[15] and Zaleski referring to it as a "spiraling pop standout".[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Courtney Barnett.

No.TitleLength
1."Hopefulessness"4:48
2."City Looks Pretty"4:42
3."Charity"4:10
4."Need a Little Time"3:58
5."Nameless, Faceless"3:15
6."I'm Not Your Mother, I'm Not Your Bitch"1:50
7."Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence"2:48
8."Help Your Self"3:02
9."Walkin' on Eggshells"4:01
10."Sunday Roast"4:44
Total length:37:16

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Bandcamp.[5]

Musicians

  • Courtney Barnett – guitar, vocals
  • Bones Sloane – bass, backing vocals
  • Dave Mudie – drums, percussion
  • Dan Luscombe – keyboards, organ, guitar, backing vocals
  • Kim Deal – backing vocals (tracks 5 and 7), guitar (track 7)
  • Kelley Deal – backing vocals (track 7)

Production

  • Courtney Barnett – production; Polaroids, artwork
  • Burke Reid – production, recording, mixing
  • Dan Luscombe – production
  • Guy Davie – mastering

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[23] 2
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[24] 44
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[25] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[26] 37
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[27] 29
French Albums (SNEP)[28] 30
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[29] 24
Irish Albums (IRMA)[30] 36
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[31] 10
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[32] 43
Scottish Albums (OCC)[33] 5
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[34] 55
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[35] 19
UK Albums (OCC)[36] 9
US Billboard 200[37] 22

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Paste US The 50 Best Albums of 2018[38] 2018 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schatz, Lake (16 March 2018). "Courtney Barnett goes to space in video for new single "Need A Little Time": Watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  2. ^ Coutts, Kylie (11 May 2018). "Daily Dose: Courtney Barnett, "Sunday Roast"". Paste. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  3. ^ Coulburn, Randall. "Courtney Barnett Shares 16mm Video For 'Charity'". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. ^ Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (28 November 2018). "And the ARIA Award Goes To..." Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Tell Me How You Really Feel". Bandcamp. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  6. ^ DeVille, Chris. "Courtney Barnett Appears To Tease New Album Tell Me How You Really Feel..." Stereogum.com. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  7. ^ Gotrich, Lars. "Courtney Barnett Announces New Album With A Collage Video For 'Nameless, Faceless'". NPR.org. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Courtney Barnett – Need A Little Time". 15 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  9. ^ Maicki, Salvatore (19 April 2018). "Courtney Barnett shares video for "City Looks Pretty"". The Fader. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Snapes, Laura (22 May 2018). "Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel". Pitchfork. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b Pollard, Alexandra (18 May 2018). "Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel review – sharp barbs and no holds barred". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  13. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Tell Me How You Really Feel – Courtney Barnett". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Zaleski, Annie (17 May 2018). "Courtney Barnett lacks the energy to Tell Me How You Really Feel". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Kot, Greg (15 May 2018). "Review: Courtney Barnett lets modesty, empathy rule on 'Tell Me How You Really Feel'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  16. ^ Robertson, Derek (16 May 2018). "Album reviews: Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, Charles Watson, Ray LaMontagne". The Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  17. ^ a b Leivers, Dannii (14 May 2018). "Courtney Barnett – 'Tell Me How You Really Feel' Review". NME. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  18. ^ Catchpole, Chris (July 2018). "No Laughing Matter". Q. No. 386. London. p. 119.
  19. ^ Hermes, Will (18 May 2018). "Review: Courtney Barnett's Raging, Empathetic 'Tell Me How You Really Feel'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  20. ^ Christgau, Robert (7 July 2018). "Robert Christgau on Merrill Garbus's Creative Compulsions". Vice. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  21. ^ Winograd, Jeremy (6 May 2018). "Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  22. ^ Rogers, Nate (1 May 2018). "100 Percent Happy: Courtney Barnett Is Letting It All Go". Flood. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Lescharts.com – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Courtney Barnett". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  31. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 21: del 18.5.2018 al 24.5.2018" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  35. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  38. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2018". Paste. November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.