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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

arts pop culture review

REVIEW: Mike Adams brings his honest best with new album "There Is No Feeling Better"


Never was there a better time to feel this fuzzy; to hear the coos of a pensive summer songbird with love on their lips. Mike Adams dishes out plenty of unabashed announcements of sappy serenity that will knock you over your head and off your feet.

Adams and his band, Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, released their new album “There is No Feeling Better” on June 14.

In its fourth full album, the band ventured headlong into the realm of thoughtful, charming indie pop with a more stripped down instrumentation than its 2016 outing “Casino Drone,” while sticking to the softer musings that made older releases like 2014’s “Best of Boiler Room Classics” great.

The new album's first song on “Pressing Mesh” exemplifies this by hitting listeners with a page out of the alt-pop textbook with a downward moving, nostalgic guitar hook working as the centerpiece throughout. It perfectly couples with lyrics describing youthful, affectionate confusion and open-heartedness.

This theme rings even more clearly in the chorus of the following Decemberists-esque tune “Do You One Better” by half asking, half pleading: “How do you contend it will all work out? Half a dozen kids and we’ve all got doubt.”

Songs such as “That’s One Way” and “Educated Guess” do their darndest to make me feel like a high school junior, not college with their bereaved, forlorn vocal delivery of introspections such as: “One day we’re done, was it worth all this fighting for?” and decadent dashes of wistful guitar.

The hurt doesn’t last long before the band catapults us into the titular, upbeat synth-and-string-decorated tune “No Feeling Better” that walks a fine line between New Order and the 1975 to much success. It would feel just as at home greeting patrons at the mall as it would on any inventive pop album.

Before long, the band ushers in an ode to the faceless “Olivia.” The tender lyrics describing a woman of high-standing breaking the narrator’s heart are all too reminiscent to doo-wop greats of yesteryear. This boyish ballad is superseded by the somehow more sentimental “I Need You”, which expresses no guilt in its slowly delivered opening lyrics: “I’m in love and I don’t think it’s foolish, and I want everyone to know.”

The album’s longest song, “So Faded,” wraps up the album by bringing together most of the main worries and instrumental successes thus far. The valiant chorus pumps its fist while shaking off the shackles of vulnerability, which is a skill I wish we could all have.

Mike Adams holds many of the same concerns that sap dopamine from twentysomethings who just want to be thought of, and to know their larger purpose. “There is No Feeling Better” brings together the best of Adams’s humble preoccupations and blends kindred instrumentation with the right doses of calculated energy.

“There is No Feeling Better” is the band’s most honest, heartfelt album to date. While largely about love, it also serves as an epilogue to youthful unbridlement and all the questions it stirs within us.

A previous version of this review referred to the album with an incorrect title. The IDS regrets this error.

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