ZZ Top
La Futura


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
September 13th, 2012 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ZZ Top are still flyin' high.

ZZ Top's latest album, La Futura, is the band's first new material in nine years, following the promising yet rather bloated 2003 affair, Mescalero. At 40 minutes, La Futura is more concise and recalls the band's early days, but filtered through the dirty, fuzzy sound of their post-Recycler records. The outcome is really enjoyable, especially for a band that pushes past the 40 year mark. This success is partially due to the fact that these guys have managed to stay almost the same Lil' Ol' Band From Texas ever since the 70s. Their fan base never wanted them to change and that's for the best of it, because Gibbons & Co. still deliver good dirty blues rock with funny, tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

Bringing in Rick Rubin might seem odd and useless since the guys don't need a return to form, because they never really strayed from their musical path (and Rubin has become famous for helping bands go back to their roots and release successful albums). Still, the producer helped ZZ Top by focusing their material into a shorter, more manageable length, because one of the issues that come with staying the same is that if the music isn't catchy or interesting, it can easily lead to redundancy (which at one point was Mescalero's case). This way, tracks like "Have A Little Mercy" or "I Don't Wanna Lose, Lose You" lack the catchiness of a lot of their music, as the former feels rushed, the lyrics feel borrowed from the band's early rockers and doesn't really say anything. "I Don't Wanna Lose, Lose You" isn't a bad song at all, but it falls in the standard ZZ Top category where it feels as if the band just needed one more song to complete the album and done this one in 30 minutes. After nine years there surely is enough material left from the sessions to replace this one, but in the end it doesn't really drag the album down.

What makes La Futura slightly different from their previous four albums is the melody ZZ Top adds on the record, especially to songs like "It's Too Easy Mañana" and "Flyin' High". They don't mechanically cruise through the tracks, showing there is more than only fat grooves and solos. This way, they're adding a few tweaks to their sound while still doing the same thing music-wise. In the end, however, "I Gotsta Get Paid" and "Chartreuse" still remain the best songs on the record because they offer the most fun. It's really cool seeing ZZ Top covering fellow texans DJ DMD, Lil' Keke & Fat Pat's hip hop song "25 Lighters" and translating it really well in their own world and the latter feels like the band's classic 1975 hit, "Tush", complete with a groovy twist and some great whiskey vocals.

Overall, La Futura is a great album just because ZZ Top still enjoy making music (the album was unnecessary as they can happily tour their old material until they retire) and feels fresh and alive after 43 years. Hopefully it won't take them another decade to release a new record.



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3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is great. As far as I know there is some official online stream, but I can't find it.

Chartreuse - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM_0N13CGpM
It's Too Easy Manana - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ67I47l074&feature=relmfu
Flyin' High - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-q-Yq_DsA4&feature=relmfu
I Gotsta Get Paid - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3bUq8yLoSQ&feature=relmfu
Consumption - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g44JPRIU94w&feature=relmfu

Digging: The Ting Tings - Super Critical

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


4445 Comments


It's been a while since you've reviewed. Good to see you back. And good review, man. I'm not a "real" fan, but I do enjoy some ZZ Top from time to time myself, like Tres Hobres and Deguello.

POS'd.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks :D. I haven't had the time to review almost anything. I've been on a small tour with my band and released our album.

I find ZZ Top really cool. I love their 70s output, but their latest albums are really enjoyable too.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


4445 Comments


Oh nice. I didnt know you had a band. Is your album on bandcamp or something? I'd love to check it out.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I sent you a PM with out bandcamp site. Thanks.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


7423 Comments


Major props for reviewing these guys, but the review needs some proof-reading. I came across these:

"focusing their material into a shorter, more manageable length"

^I don't think there's something like 'focus into.' Change this perhaps into "bringing their material into focus with a shorter..."

"...but add some to songs like "It's Too Easy Mañana" and "Flyin' High". They give way to melody more than only fat grooves and solos, thus showing the band can easily stray from their usual affair while doing the same thing."

^They add some (what?). I don't exactly know what you're trying to say at the end of the 2nd sentence. Rephrase please.

And It should've been 'these guys don't' instead of 'doesn't'.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

bloc
September 13th 2012


34951 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

First track rules

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks greg, i wrote the review in a rush and forgot to proofread it.

omnipanzer
September 14th 2012


21626 Comments


But what really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah,
oh yeah,
oh yeah


POS, can't wait to give it a spin.

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012


3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks panzer, I find this album really cool and the highlights are really worth.

AnthonyFartano
September 14th 2012


233 Comments


one of the worst bands, along with AC/DC

mindleviticus
September 14th 2012


8298 Comments


ugh

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012


10310 Comments


We're ZZ Tawp, n' our new album's called Lah Foo'churruh!

mindleviticus
September 14th 2012


8298 Comments


Omaha you might like the new Loscil album. I reviewed it two days ago.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012


7423 Comments


Call me a stickler, but this review needs summary too... and I still don't understand that sentence...

"straying from their usual affair while doing the same thing"
^It's a cotradiction. You can't really write that.

Duderino
September 14th 2012


827 Comments


does it still sound like the blues mixed with rock n' roll?

someguest
September 14th 2012


20929 Comments


What black guy did they steal from on this album?

Digging: Dexter Gordon - Our Man in Paris

bloc
September 14th 2012


34951 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

DJ DMD

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012


3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Greg - I want to say that even though they're adding few tweaks, they're still doing the same thing music-wise. Thanks for pointing out, I rewrote the sentence and added some summary.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2012


7423 Comments


Cool bro. Keep up the good work.



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