A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Welcome to our new series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. Classical or Country, Hip-Hop or Heavy Metal, we’ll be blogging for every taste.
Have you ever let a song that you don’t like slowly creep its way into your life until you begrudgingly have to accept that its presence there is something you actually enjoy? I think that’s how I found “Love is Only a Feeling.”
A different song by The Darkness, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” went to no.1 in 2003, at a time when I was working in a music store. Their album, Permission to Land was in heavy rotation in our overhead play for months. Heavy rotation. I know other albums got played too, but it still seemed like that album was the soundtrack to my working day, eight hours a day, five days a week. Even worse than the overexposure was the band’s gimmicky hair metal/glam rock vibe, which was no laughing matter to a serious metal head from way back when hair metal was not considered retro fun, but a nefarious, malignant force wreaking havoc upon the universe. So, in other words, I wasn’t enthusiastic about this song from the start.
But, like a virus, “Love is Only a Feeling” ended up in my iTunes collection through the careless exchange of mix CDs. From there it found its way onto my iPod when I upgraded to 160 GBs. Then, through the eternal and enduring mystery that is random play, it found its way back to my ears. And, despite roughly 2o,000 other songs to compete with, it found its way back to my ears repeatedly. Before long I was actively searching out the song, and soon it had become a favorite.
What I discovered when I rediscovered “Love is Only a Feeling” is that, here at least, The Darkness are so completely committed to their retro glam metal schtick that it comes off as respectful and impressive in its accuracy. Though I still find it a bit difficult to warm up to the genre, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The singer’s voice is clear, emotive, and catchy, while the band—especially the guitarists—are in excellent form, and the song is clearly structured by a group that knows the lulls and crescendos that make for an effective power ballad. But it’s more than just grandiose and catchy, the lyrics are exactly what you’d want from a song like this—they cop an anti-love attitude that is subtly undercut by the emotion of the song. It’s almost like this little bit of fun has developed some unexpected layers to it, and I like that.
Review by Matthew