Album #9: Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

  • Released: 2018
  • Origin: Melbourne, Australia
  • Label: Milk! (Marathon Artists in UK)
  • Best Track: Charity

Part of the reason why I started doing this was because of how long it sometimes takes me to get round to listening to an album. I’ve realised that this one has been on my ‘I must listen to that’ list since May 2018. It’s conceivable she could have another one out soon!

Anyway, Tell Me How You Really Feel is the second album of Aussie indie-rocker and wordsmith Courtney Barnett, following her critically acclaimed and brilliantly named 2015 debut Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.

As the title of that album suggests, it was very much a chronicle of introversion and self-analysis. That’s not a criticism, by the way – it worked brilliantly, most notably on ‘Pedestrian At Best’. Now, three years later, she’s taking the daring step of pointing the figure at others.

The album title may well be meant sarcastically, but I certainly notice less of the word ‘I’ and more of the word ‘you’ on Tell Me How You Really Feel. You can detect this on ‘Charity’, with its sarcasm oozing from every pore. I love the garagy riff and catchy chorus on this one.

The album overall is not drastically different to her debut, and if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Her often deadpan vocals continue to match her blunt, matter-of-fact lyrics perfectly. The theme of verbose song titles like ‘I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch’ and ‘Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence’ remains, and the last two tracks take a turn for the more lo-fi and melodic, seeing the album out a treat.

Courtney Barnett is just effortlessly cool. I wish I were friends with her!

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