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Tell Me How You Really Feel

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Courtney Barnett 5/18/2018

Review

Courtney Barnett specializes in miniatures, which is why her 2015 debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, was such a wonder: with barbed words and gnarled guitars, she made everyday minutiae seem compelling. Three years in the making -- it was delayed in part due to a 2017 collaboration with Kurt Vile -- the 2018 sequel, Tell Me How You Really Feel, plays like the flip image of its predecessor. What once was captivating now feels indifferent, delivered with a shrug instead of a snarl. Everything about Tell Me How You Really Feel seems muted, whether it's the grungy stomp of Barnett and her band -- a group that remains steadfastly and proudly stuck in the glory days of '90s alt-rock -- or her words, which now seem to meander to a point instead of cutting to the quick. As she's a good craftswoman, the songs are by and large sturdy, but that talent also cuts against the success of Tell Me How You Really Feel: when they're matched with the appealing yet incurious performances, everything feels a bit too cozy. Sometimes, a hook or a clever line cuts through the amiable haze -- and "Charity," with its chorus of "so subservient I make myself sick," manages to blend both -- but Tell Me How You Really Feel isn't an album of moments, it's a collection that sustains a mood: a mood that's ragged and slack, but too dulled to charm. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Hopefulessness Courtney Barnett 4:48
  3. 2 City Looks Pretty Courtney Barnett 4:42
  4. 3 Charity Courtney Barnett 4:9
  5. 4 Need a Little Time Courtney Barnett 3:57
  6. 5 Nameless, Faceless Courtney Barnett 3:14
  7. 6 I'm Not Your Mother, I'm Not Your Bitch Courtney Barnett 1:49
  8. 7 Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Self Confidence Courtney Barnett 2:47
  9. 8 Help Your Self Courtney Barnett 3:1
  10. 9 Walkin' on Eggshells Courtney Barnett 3:56
  11. 10 Sunday Roast Courtney Barnett 4:35

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