The Big Pink
With the electro-pop genre rising in popularity, bands like MGMT, M83 and Phoenix make The Big Pink’s sophomore album “Future This” look more and more like a B-rated action film than a blockbuster.
The Big Pink came into the Indie music scene in 2009 with their debut album “Brief History of Love.” Pink’s multi-instrumentalists Robbie Fruze and Milo Cordell, signed with 4AD Record Label and released this single packed first album. They had a fresh, new sound that promoted critical acclaim. But instead of taking a step forward with their latest album and exploring new sounds, The Big Pink’s “Future This” took a giant step backward.
Their sophomore album, “Future This” is filled with fuzzy, swirling synths that tend to drown out the vocals and many times neglect any dynamic melodies. “Future This” has many songs begging to explode onto the radio, with big choruses and some catchy riffs. This leads to the album being highly produced, but to a fault. The album’s first two tracks, “Stay Gold” and “Hit the Ground (Super Man)” start out the album on a high note. They draw many comparisons from their first album’s hit singles “Dominos” and “Velvet.” In their lead single “Stay Gold” the band does a great job using layers and looping effects to create atmospheric sounds.
The peak of the album comes at track four, “The Palace.” The swirling bells, driving beat and a melodic distant guitar leave you seeing this band’s full potential. However, the song “1313,” just one track after “The Palace” is by far the lowest point on the album. The lead pad screams obnoxiously for attention and receives its plead. The six-minute long epic fails greatly.
The sixth track “Rubbernecking” falls just short of being an anthem. Every song there after, slowly gets worse. You think it can’t get any worse and believe there must be another hidden gem. In reality there never is one. The theme of the album is big sounds. All the songs are big: big with failure.
Lyrically the album is up and down and never consistent. There are songs that have serious tones, but then others completely lack sanity. Many of the songs lack a constant theme. Lyrically, “Lose your mind” seems to hit an album low: “I wanna be great, I wanna be adored. Doing it on my own.” It feels like these lyrics were rushed. I felt no emotion behind them.
In order to achieve critical success there must be an effort to get out of your comfort zone and to push boundaries. In “Future This” they stay far from experimenting and this leads to an album sounding like a continuation of their debut. What made their first album, “A Brief History of Love” original, unfortunately crippled them from sustaining success.
The Big Pink doesn’t “Stay Gold” with the release of their much anticipated album “Future This.” Ultimately this album begs to be more than what it really is, unoriginal and boring.
I think it deserves: Two out of five stars
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