ALBUM REVIEW: Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
Courtney Barnett is no longer Australia’s little hidden secret and that is totally okay with me. In 2015 the Melbourne singer-songwriter released her debut album “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit” which saw her touring the world, playing some of the biggest festivals and even appearing on SNL, Ellen and Conan. An impressive effort for someone whose deadpan singing style was originally criticised. And now she’s finally releasing her second studio album which is an honest affair. “You know what they say, no one is born to hate. We learn it somewhere along the way”. In amongst all the guitar riffs and angry hooks Courtney Barnett delivers raw honesty, harsh truths and a whole lot of heart. On the opening track ‘Hopefulessness’ she breaks it down for you gives you hope mixed in with the pain of anxiety. “Your vulnerability, stronger than it seems. You know it’s okay to have a bad day” and “Take your broken heart, turn it into art”. She mixes these empowering statements with the inner demons that tell you “I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna know” and it’s so impactful and raw. This sets you up for a record full of self pain, encouragement and reflection. Lead single “Nameless, Faceless” is one of the albums most confronting and important songs as it explores the fear that women have about walking alone. The chorus makes reference to Margaret Atwood’s famous quote “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them” which has never been more relevant than it is now. Where as the seemingly upbeat and catchy “City Looks Pretty” explores the ultimate feeling of loneliness in the middle of a big city. The album is quite different lyrically compared to her debut as it’s less quirky and chaotic and is more thought invoking. But she still holds onto the grungy production with ‘I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch, ‘Charity’ and ‘Crippling Self Doubt And A General Lack Of Self Confidence’ giving those big singalong moments that will be cool in her live show. She does deliver a nice sentiment on “Help Your Self” which is dedicated to people who won’t look at the positive in situations and only focus on the negatives. The lyric “Darkness depends on where you’re standing” perfectly captures not only the songs vibe but also the whole albums mood. It’s so thought invoking, raw, honest and also still manages to deliver big singalong moments that will be highlighted in her upcoming tour. It may be quite different to “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit” but its a good different.
You can purchase a SIGNED copy of Courtney Barnett’s new album from Sanity; https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2366915/Tell_Me_How_You_Really_Feel_SIGNED_COPY