Album Review

Future This

Future This

by The Big Pink


4AD
6 / 10
31s January 2012

Reviewed by Gareth Meade


As far as nostalgia-inducing exercises in hedonism go, The Big Pink’s debut album A Brief History of Love knew its strengths and played to them well. Big chorus’ made it sound arena ready, despite their limited profile, and the nods to rave and big beat pre-empted the rush of ‘90’s goodwill in popular music. It also had a rough and ready side; grains of much needed salt that counteracted the sickly sweet radio fodder. When listed like that, it’s easy to see a lot of the same attributes in The Pink Pig’s second offering Future This. So why then does it feel so disappointing?

There are two main reasons, which both manifest themselves on lead single and opening track ‘Stay Gold’. For all intents and purposes ‘Stay Gold’ is ‘Dominos’, the ubiquitous anti-love song from A Brief History of Love knew. The two seem almost inseparable in their genetic makeup, which is a shame given what the short opening keyboard figure promises. Its high-pitched squeal fleetingly sounds unhinged before the familiar melody takes it in a completely predictable direction. It’s a bad first impression, which foreshadows how familiar and diluted this album is by comparison to its predecessor. And therein lies another problem.

This album suffers by comparison. Without any knowledge of their first album there wouldn’t be as much to be upset about with Future This apart from the fact that it’s just a bit boring. Both ‘Give it Up’ and ‘The Palace’ could almost be classed as easy-listening based on their listlessness and uninteresting ideas, but The Big Pink still know when to go large. ‘Rubbernecking’ is once again familiar but it hits home the fact that extravagance imbues confidence in The Big Pink and the resulting material is all the better for it. The one exception to this is album closer ‘77’, a bittersweet melody reminiscent of The Verve that keeps things simple and largely succeeds as a result.

Unfortunately for Future This however, it does follow A Brief History of Love , which remains the superior album. Future This watered down re-imagining still manages the odd spark, but it too easily fades into the background, rather than monopolising your attention the way you know The Big Pink can.




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