The Big Pink
Future This


2.5
average

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
January 9th, 2012 | 23 replies | 7,963 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Big Pink scale down the style on which they were founded and turn the epic factor up...way up.

Imagine for a moment that the Shins collaborate with MGMT to make a hands-in-the-air, no-frills-held arena synth-pop album. That’s the best way I can describe The Big Pink’s sophomore effort Future This - a record that, quite frankly, may be too damn anthemic for its own good. Its atmosphere is rich and vibrant, indulging in the elasticity of its electronic elements while somehow also remaining firmly entrenched in indie pop know-how. Those who have heard the band’s debut album, A Brief History Of Love, will know exactly what I mean – yet it is those same fans who may be overcome with disappointment at how much the band’s music appears to have been simplified here.

It doesn’t take long to realize the tune that Future This will sing, as it commences with the triumphant ‘Stay Gold.’ The single nearly exists as one giant chorus, delightfully bouncing on wave after wave of euphoric “shut the light for the rest to follow” chants before fading into a reverb-soaked drum pattern in the outro. If there are two things to learn from the opening track, they are: 1.) The Big Pink are out to sweep you off your feet with one enormously epic musical gesture after another and 2.) their means of achieving such a grandiose sound come at the cost of experimentation and atmospheric/textural diversity. If we were to once again make a comparison to the band’s debut, the songs on here liken themselves much more to ‘Dominos’ than they do to ‘Crystal Visions’ or ‘Too Young to Love.’ Their once endearing murkiness and distortedness have been cleaned up, polished, and waxed to be as sleek and shiny as possible.

Even though this gives Future This a somewhat tepid feel, it isn’t always a bad thing. ‘Stay Gold’ might be the best shamelessly mainstream indie song you will encounter all year, and I say that fully aware of the eleven months remaining in 2012. Their sampling of Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ in ‘Hit the Ground’ works well in creating an infectious follow-up to ‘Stay Gold’ - and to be truthful, catchiness is never the album’s problem. ‘Give It Up’, ‘The Palace’, and ‘Rubbernecking’ all keep the listener hooked, delivering one well-crafted chorus after another. The synth-driven nature of the album can really be heard in the rather appropriately titled ‘Jump Song’, which features a memorable stutter-step beat that makes some form of dance movement difficult to resist. Between The Big Pink’s quality efforts in the production department and their overall tune sense, there are plenty of reasons to get hooked on Future This.

The fact that this album only features one guitar solo (present in ‘Lose Your Mind’) will be unsettling to some, just as the overall shift towards accessibility will crush any hopes of this band meriting indie credit and/or underground status. However, The Big Pink have blazed a path for themselves that looks to be just as promising as it is commercially lucrative. For those who don’t mind a slight drop-off in substance, Future This packs all the energy needed to fill arenas and get people jumping and swaying in a U2-inspired trance. The only question is how much epic posturing you can handle before Future This’ relentless escalation desensitizes you.



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user ratings (37)
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2.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2012



15889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was surprisingly hard to write about, but hopefully this review gets the point across.

Here's the stream for those interested:

http://stereogum.com/918841/stream-the-big-pink-future-this/mp3s/


Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review as ever.

I liked their first album but I'm not enjoying this at all. I'm going to listen a few more times before rating but at the moment it's somewhere between 1.5 and 2 :-(

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2012



15889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

whoops I actually mis-clicked...meant for this to be a 2.5 all along. Not that it makes a difference, either way it's disappointing to me

cvlts
January 9th 2012



8954 Comments


think i might like this marginally more than you. abhol was bangin

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They said it was going to be a hip hop record, which I was fairly apprehensive about, so I didn't really have any expectations for it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I found the review for their debut difficult to write as well.

Not surprised they headed in the direction you state. Still yet to hear this though.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2012



15889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha thanks chambered

Tyrael
January 10th 2012



20825 Comments


sucks

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2012



15889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album or review? A 2.5 was as high as I was willing to give this, it is just so bland

jackalope11
January 10th 2012



330 Comments


I liked Stay Gold, so I'll give it a listen anyway.

Ending
January 10th 2012



1896 Comments


The album recommendations make me want to check this out, but the review and rating say, "Stay away". I'll probably end up listening to a song or two off of this.

pizzamachine
January 10th 2012



12571 Comments


Man, this is pretty boring and I love my bleeps and bloops. Excellent review though.

Ktnish
January 11th 2012



1 Comments


I saw the big pink live. it was a fun experience this album show theyre still a good band

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2012



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

At first glance this doesn't seem so bad, just kinda bland

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Tyrael
January 11th 2012



20825 Comments


Album or review? A 2.5 was as high as I was willing to give this, it is just so bland

lol Sowing

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2012



15889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lol of course, as if I could write a bad review ; )

Tyrael
January 11th 2012



20825 Comments


there you have it

you silly willy :]

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2012



50114 Comments


used the word epic
neg

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

Shoegazer29
January 11th 2012



22 Comments


This review has me scared. I'm about to check this album out since "A Brief History of Love" was occasionally brilliant, but "Dominoes" was too repetitive to became the blueprint for their sound.

rmill3r
January 14th 2012



167 Comments


Excellent and concise review. You get to the point without dragging anything out, yet you keep it fresh with some good comparisons.

I mostly agree with it, too. I never listened to them in 2009 with abhol, but I think I'd rather check that one out now . . .

Oh, and King Krule's remix of Superman (Hit the Ground) is better than the original.



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