Feral Conservatives - Better Lives

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:9 Release Date:2017-11-03
Feral Conservatives - Better Lives
Feral Conservatives - Better Lives

The Feral Conservatives have adopted a pop-friendly sound on their latest album Better Lives, and the results render this effort as imminently listenable.

Singer/songwriter/mandolinist Rashie Rosenfarb has a great voice - lovely, tender, and evocative, in other words, a voice tailor-made for this album’s confectionary content. Sure, some of the songs would be welcome rom-com soundtrack fodder, and the touching “Cat Song,” the only love song to a cat I’ve ever heard in my life, defines the word “cute.” On the other hand, however, there is strong songwriting, slick musicianship, and goddamn, but Rosenfarb has a voice I would gladly listen to as she read an instruction manual.

The album bursts out of the gate with assurance; alt-pop that’s set apart from the disposable with empowering, intelligent lyrics. On “Anymore,” she sings, “I’m not your punching bag or a door mat to wipe your feet. I’ve got my battle scars, but I won’t admit defeat. You don’t own me anymore. I left my shackles by the door.” On “Five Guys” she admonishes that she’s “the false alarm you raise” and “the plan that shouldn’t work,” and on the beautiful first single “Angels” she reassures that “Angels are resting on your shoulders…you’ll be just fine.” Other highlights are the rollicking “Eyes Open,” and the folkish “State Lines.” This is glorious musical comfort food, the kind of stuff that I could loop over and over.

Something else Feral Conservatives have going for them is a disarming sense of humor. To coincide with the album’s release, they created a pair of hilarious spoof-ads for their album, one a send-up of those cheesy television commercials from the 1970s (“Operators are standing by!”) as well as one for a new fragrance called “Better Lives” that “smells like an unknown indie band.”

In the end, this is a very good album. I’m a sucker for addictive alt-pop like what the Feral Conservatives lay down here; music that requires an ear for smart lyrics and something more than the average attention span. Better Lives delivers big time in that regard.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars