Can
Future Days


3.0
good

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
May 21st, 2007 | 37 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist


Before listening to Future Days for the first time I had previously listened to three other Can albums including Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Monster Movie. I was both shocked and appalled when I first listened to the album, not only was it drastically different from the groups three earlier albums it was also a bit of a departure. Being familiar with a wide variety of krautrock groups it seemed as if Can had changed their sound from the acid-trippy/psychadelic (think Amon Duul II and Ash Ra Tempel) sound of the genre to the more soothing and calm keyboard driven sound (Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk). Although I love both Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk I had always enjoyed Can due to their bizarre experimentation and psychopathic sound.

The first thing that stood out was the huge change in production. On prior releases Jaki Liebezeits’ tribal drumming was turned up loud in the mix over the Irmin Schmidt’s swirling keyboard tones and Michael Karoli’s hypnotic guitar parts. Future Days shows off Can’s more ambient side as Schmidts relaxing keyboard melodies and Karoli’s trance-inducing guitar segments take control of the sound. In result we get a very tame sound which is extremely unusual if you’ve heard Can’s earlier material. Damo Suzuki’s psychotic vocals have nearly vanished as well as Jaki Liebezeits’ pseudo-hip hop drum beats. The albums opening number ”Future Days” demonstrates this change perfectly, Schmidts organic keyboard sparkles mix together with Karoli’s atmospheric guitar tones creating a warm, space-ambient tune. ”Spray” uses the same type of formula only Liebezeits’ drumming plays a bigger role creating a more intense and ghostly vibe.

While the first two tracks are not horrendous they just leave me cold. The experimentation seems to have gone out the window as well as the creativity. Instead we are treated with laid-back synth effects and lazy guitar lines, Jaki’s drumming still plays a minor role in the music however the first two tracks come off as lukewarm ambient songs that are a poor mans Tangerine Dream at best. Out of nowhere appears ”Moonshake” which an infectiously catchy reggae-influenced pop song, right when I thought Can was going down the drain they throw this three minute pop gem at my face. ”Moonshake” is easily Cans most accessible song as it’s both catchy, funky, and shows off no odd experimentation. Right when you think that Suzuki and co. have gone a different direction the 20 minute ”Bel-Air” starts playing. Kicking off with light synthesizer effects the song slowly builds up into an intense, psychadelic jam (that’s more like it!) Where Suzuki and co. start to experiment with their instruments creating more odd sounds and interesting rhythms. As a result we get a very loose jam session that goes through hard rocking, acid-drenched sections as well as calm, soothing bass driven parts.

Although I didn’t enjoy Future Days as much as earlier Can material I can’t say that it’s a poor album. If anything it’s easily Can’s most accessible piece of work to date, if you’ve already tried Tago Mago or Ege Bamyasi and didn’t enjoy them then you might dig Future Days just because it is a lot more laid-back and synth-laden. Older Can fans may be upset by the lack of wackiness and spontaintety however Future Days is an easy way for any krautrock n00b to venture into the genre.



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user ratings (249)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Neoteric (4.5)
a concoction of subtle jamming, complete aural bliss....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2007


2675 Comments


Sounds like Liberi's cup of tea moreso than mine, but as always an ace review.

ValiumMan
May 22nd 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very good review. The only "flaw" I noticed was that you spelled "psychedelic" wrong. But it don't matter anyway.
But as for the content, I couldn't disagree more. This is just as "far out" as anything Can have ever done (probably not the second disc of Tago Mago, but that's unlistenable anyway). It's just that this is a lot more quiet than usual, so it's harder to notice. But if you listen to this album a few more times, I'm convinced you'll hear that there's an amazing dynamic going between the keyboard washes, the guitar textures, the drum beats and the vox. It's a bit like Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden: Pretty on the surface, brooding and twisted underneath.

AlienEater
May 22nd 2007


716 Comments


I love Can, unfortunately I haven't heard this.

Slaapkamers
May 22nd 2007


596 Comments


Review is wrong.

Neoteric
March 1st 2008


3243 Comments


This is their best album.

Eliminator
March 1st 2008


2067 Comments


would like state again that this reveiw is wrong

LostChild
March 1st 2008


9 Comments


Good review. I've yet to listen to this one. Right now I've been obsessing over their earlier albums. I think the hardest thing for me to swallow about this record would probably be the decrease in the intensity of Leibezeit's drums, as that's always been one of my favorite aspects of the band.

Neoteric
March 1st 2008


3243 Comments


i love the drums on this record

would also like to state that review is wrong

Roach
December 14th 2009


2148 Comments


would like to state again this review is wrong

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2009


15035 Comments


would like to state again this review is chris jackson

kanecooper
March 1st 2011


630 Comments


would like to state again this review is wrong


keesvdhema
November 11th 2011


7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good review, i see your point, but you gotta listen more closely to the opening track, 'cause mr Liebezeit lays down one of his finest drumwork of his career. I know it's not as loud and rocking as on previous album's but it's so freakin freakin good and so fucking tight. IMO, not only Can's best album ever, but also music history's best album ever.

Pixicato
July 5th 2013


6 Comments


would like to remind everyone that this review is wrong

Chrisjon89
February 14th 2014


3632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bel Air is so good

Wadlez
February 14th 2014


4096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very

someguest
April 3rd 2014


20563 Comments


m/

AgainAnd
September 4th 2014


226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Possibly Can's best.

Digging: Kishi Bashi - Lighght

Chrisjon89
September 4th 2014


3632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed ^ except I'd say probably.

AgainAnd
September 4th 2014


226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, after having had Ege Bamyasi sitting for a year or so in my music library I've started running through their whole discography. So I've only heard this once and stuff post-Suzuki is still unknown to me; it's too early for me to make any certain statements, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if this came out on top.

The title track is such a powerful opener to the album while Bel Air is one of, if not the best thing Can has done (from what I know at least). I think Moonshake might be weakest here. Mind, that's mostly because the album is so excellent as I think Moonshake is pretty good.

Chrisjon89
September 5th 2014


3632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah I just love this one late at night.

I like Tago Mago about as much but still don't care too much for Peking O. i like that this is more concise too.



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