Sneaky Feelings – Send You
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Sneaky Feelings' 1984 debut album Send You showed off a different side of the Flying Nun sound of the time. While other bands like the Clean were scruffy and Velvet Underground-influenced, Sneaky Feelings were more sophisticated musically, looking to the Beatles for inspiration and sounding not unlike some of their overseas contemporaries like Orange Juice and Prefab Sprout. Their arrangements are thoughtfully constructed, their emotions are parceled out dramatically, and the overall presentation isn't too far from that of nearby neighbors the Go-Betweens, which is high praise. The record is loaded from top to bottom with thoughtful, poignant jangle pop songs that tug forcefully on heartstrings while still being catchy enough to hum in the shower. All four members of the band write and sing, and it appears that they all brought their best songs to the album. Send You feels like a hits collection, balancing melancholy ballads like "Waiting for Touchdown" and the absolutely classic "Not to Take Sides" with quietly tender midtempo delights ("Everything I Want") and bright and bouncy indie pop ("Someone Else's Eyes"). Not a weak song in the bunch, a couple (like "Not to Take Sides" and the insistently dirge-y "Throwing Stones") are classic Flying Nun, certainly among the best tracks the legendary label ever released. In fact, Send You rates right at the top of all the many great albums the label released over their long run as a purveyor of first-rate indie pop and rock. Sneaky Feelings are sometimes overlooked when people talk about Flying Nun, but Send You is the first exhibit in the case for why they shouldn't be. Beyond that, Send You makes a strong case that Sneaky Feelings were among the best pop bands of the '80s, no matter what part of the world they came from or what label released their records.