Sound — 6
A poppy album by most accounts, there's actualy a lot of pretty metallic stuff. It's the quieter songs that get axed, which is a pity as Satellite News is probably my favourite song on the album. We can see Feeder starting to head this way in earlier b-sides like Can't Dance To Disco. It was my first rock album years ago when all I'd heard before was pop and old stuff really. But retrospectively, the style change isn't a good thing. The band didn't enjoy recording the album, made based around a throwaway pop song called Buck Rogers that was originaly written for another band by Grant. On the redeeming side, it has to be admitted it's catchy. And it's happy any album that makes people happy in a genuine way has something going for it at least.
Lyrics — 6
This is by far Feeder's weakest album lyrically. Fairly uninteresting lyric lines repeat themselves, and pop cliches abound. There are exceptions - the Standing On The Edge or Satellite News lyrics - but on the whole meanwhile, Grant's voice is generaly pretty straightforward and ordinary on this album, perhaps overly buried in guitars at times.
Overall Impression — 6
The worst Feeder album, surely, it's got catchiness but lacks either roaring or fragility. Every song on the album is good in itself. But the effect is bland. Satellite News is the prettiest song, and no song is outstandingly bad. But none is outstandingly good. I must note that if you get the Japnese edition, with Just A Day, Purple, Heads, and 21st Century Meltdown, the album becomes far better - Just A Day has gone on to be a fantastic last song for a show (I know, I've been) and is much like a far emotionally deeper and lyrically superior version of Buck Rogers, whilst Purple is the closest thing likely to a return to Polythene-esque multi-layered poetic rock. Both excellent songs and superior to all songs on standard Echo Park. The one flaw is that that album omits the best song on the normal album, Satellite News!