Echo - 2002 - 48 minutes

Feeder's fourth album is being billed by many as a tribute to drummer Jon Lee following his tragic death earlier this year, although with no disrespect, frontman Grant Nicholas would probably dispute that. While album number three 'Echo Park' - which spawned several crossover hits, including 'Buck Rogers' and 'Just A Day' - was still floating about the charts, Nicholas claimed that, at that time, he had written ten songs he considered his best ever. 'Comfort In Sound' was already in production - at least, in Nicholas' head.

First single 'Come Back Around' is typical of the mainstream pop-metal of previous Feeder outings. It's an intense, healthy number that continues and strengthens the Feeder sound, but the rest of the album is darker and more varied. There's less of the mainstream and more of the unconventional - a progression that seems to work effortlessly with Nicholas' expressive vocals (comparisons to Thom Yorke could be endured) - but Feeder always had more to offer. This is without doubt, their most mature work to date. It opens the doors to new fans and closes the mouths of critics who dismissed their previous hits as light, fluffy rock.

It's hard to believe some of these tracks were written before the loss of drummer Lee, there's so much emotion, intimacy and passionate expression. It's a refreshing change from the direct anger-laden sound of current artists. 'Just The Way I'm Feeling' offers an honest foreword to the album. 'Child In You' is (ironically) almost a lullaby, its gentle accompaniment leading smoothly into the title track and conveying the band's determination to move on to the next chapter - "…we tread new ground… comfort in sound, it's all around…".

'Forget About Tomorrow', 'Quick Fade' and 'Love Pollution' are beautifully delicate and solemn, containing some of the most emotive lyrics on the album. It's this diversity and emotion that may surprise some Feeder fans but 'Comfort In Sound' does exactly what it says on the tin.

David Byrne

Tracklisting: Just The Way I'm Feeling - Come Back Around - Helium - Child In You - Comfort In Sound - Forget About Tomorrow - Summers Gone - Godzilla - Quick Fade - Find The Colour - Love Pollution - Moonshine