Future
Pluto


4.0
excellent

Review

by HolidayKirk USER (151 Reviews)
May 24th, 2013 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Future, commander of the space ship Atlanta, sends back his findings from the edge of the galaxy.

It’s so easy to hate music. It protects you, you don’t have to defend or become accountable for artist’s missteps, you get to feel a sense of superiority to those lesser music fans with their simple tastes. For the rap fan, hatred is simply the default position. We’re bombarded with so many promotional singles, freestyles, mixtapes, music videos, guest appearances, EPs, and albums that if we hear something that offends our tastes even slightly we write it off and keep scrolling to the next thing.

Like many of you, when I first encountered Future, I hated him. It was sometime around September of 2011 when “Tony Montana” started to impact rap radio. I mocked Future; dismissing “Tony Montana” as a silly gimmick, confident he would soon disappear into the rap ether. That didn’t happen, he started gaining ground, his follow up single, “Magic”, out charted his debut single by quite a bit. I was watching the YouTube videos for both songs multiple times a week while still pretending I was still superior to his charms.

One mildly positive write-up of his mixtape Streetz Calling was all it took to send the walls crumbling down. I memorized his singles and mixtapes before snagging his debut album Pluto in April and proceeded to allow it’s candy colored kaleidoscope to warp my summer.

At some point, Future must have realized he can’t sing, he must have heard the playback of him laying down some vocal runs and, eyes widening in horror behind his thousand dollar shades, realized he’s nearly tone deaf. Thankfully, he must have decided to sing anyway. Here lies one of Future’s key strengths, the gravitas of songs like “Truth Gonna Hurt You” or “Turn On the Lights” would have been negated if someone like Ne-Yo or Trey Songz had been cast to bray all over the chorus, an option that has almost certainly presented to Future on multiple occasions. The latter is particularly bewildering, a massive Mike Will Made It (Who had an incredible run in 2012) banger that, at its core, is an emo song. “I wanna tell the world about you just so they can get jealous/and if you see her before I do, tell her I wish that I met her.” He sounds crushed but the epic stargazing beat holds him aloft, “Turn on the lights! I’m lookin’ for her!” he begs. It’s Future’s imperfect, auto-tune assisted delivery that makes him so human, his off key warbling is our off key warbling and we belt along to it in our cars.

Far from a sad sack, when Future turns himself skyward, the results are incredible. “Straight Up” rockets into the crystal blue sky on an ebullient hook and Future’s unstoppable enthusiasm. “Them Gucci boots on like it’s snowing! Straight up!” he cries with the excitement of someone who just cured the world’s diseases. Like all great pop stars, Future’s greatest strength is the way he turns the dumbest things on paper into fiendishly addictive pop songs, ones that spin through your head all day and you don’t even mind. “Tony Montana” is a lead pipe of crushing bass, tense piano and Future taking a tried and true rap metaphor and beating into the ground so hard it looses and gains new meaning. When Future forgoes the cadence he laid down on the first verse of “Same Damn Time” to pretend he’s Bono on the second, the result is one of the hugest street anthems of the year. “I’m infused with the set, going CRAY-ZAAAAAAY!” he roars, “Got some diamonds ‘round my neck, no FUG-AY-ZAAAAAAAAAAY!!”

A whole album of Future would leave one with a tooth ache, what makes Pluto fantastic is all the guest artists are deployed to balance Future’s absurdity with rock hard verses and they all succeed wildly. Even when their verses are purely functional (T.I., Juicy J, Trae the Truth) they fulfill the very important role of keeping Future from drifting too far into space.

But where the guest verses are the mission control to Future’s drifting astronaut, the beats are the rockets propelling him deeper into the cosmos. By the time of Pluto’s release, Future had his own distinct sound pinned down and every beat here only pushes that sound forward. Nard & B’s “Straight Up” is made of jellybeans and candy paint, Sonny Digital’s “Same Damn Time” is the sound of a thousand low riders bouncing in time to the beat on the White House lawn, Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E. delay one horn stab for just a second and it comes out hitting twice as hard on album highlight “Long Live the Pimp”. But it’s Mike Will Made It, the Timbaland to Future’s Missy, which provides the albums hugest beat. The skyscraping “Turn On the Lights”, like all of Mike Will’s best beats; it sparkles like the northern lights while simultaneously slamming harder than a tank cannon. It bursts and twists through the atmosphere on its own ethereal sense of flight.

I understand the knee jerk reaction to this. It’s weird, confrontational stuff, fronted by someone who raps about moving cocaine and chasing butterflies, and ends his debut album with a song that contains the lines “I’m better than you/And I know it” and “I believe in keeping it one thousand and staying humble” in the same verse. But Future’s debut album Pluto is like a McDonalds playplace for everyone, filled with the joy of words and gallons of lean, and you’re sitting at one of the picnic tables, nursing a cup of water. Sure you can play it safe out there but don’t you think you would have more fun in here?



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user ratings (151)
2.7
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
May 24th 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I realize I'm going way against the grain with this one ("2.5 average" Gulp) but this needed a review and its also awesome.

HolidayKirk
May 24th 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, internets back on in mah building so please suggest edits.

Guzzo10
May 24th 2013


1262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos, simply because it's very well written. Love the intro my man. This dude makes undeniably catchy choruses, however he is just a cheap thrill to me.

HolidayKirk
May 24th 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks but remember, you should never neg something because you disagree with the score. A review being simply well written is the only reason to pos.

Guzzo10
May 24th 2013


1262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol, I know, that's the whole reason for pos'ing. I disagree with the rating, in my opinion, but because you gave a well written reasoning for it, the pos is given.

HolidayKirk
May 24th 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just makin sure. FBG: The Movie is pretty great as well, weirdly fillerless for being an hour plus mixtape

Necrotica
May 24th 2013


10628 Comments


Solid review, pos. Can't say I'm the biggest fan of this guy

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2013


17453 Comments


really surprised this didn't have a review. good that this can now be properly discussed but i've
always been a little skeptical of this guy's surge in popularity among tastemakers (i.e. not just rap
radio grubbers but pitchfork, cmg, whatever). it sort of seems like the newest attempt to latch onto
something really low brow-seeming in order to "liberate" it from that context. like some guy writing
for the new yorker putting soulja boy next to Historicity by the viyer ijay trio on his albums of the
year list and everyone oohing and ahhing or whatever. alternately and with less assumption and
harrumphing on my part, his music just doesnt really do it for me

amanwithahammer
May 25th 2013


585 Comments


Like how Pitchfork gives a shit about Rihanna for some reason?

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2013


17453 Comments


yaeh i suppose

although my sort of broad-swipe analysis (which is probabyl pretty baseless. maybe the guy just likes
soulja boy) varies with how much i like the artist in question. it's just with shit that seems really
blatantly bad--sorry, future--that i start to get skeptical of the critical motives. i like a lot of
rihanna's singles so for that i'd just be like "they like it cuz it's good pop music!" so i am
Hypocrite Man but anyways bye

HolidayKirk
May 25th 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

maybe the guy just likes soulja boy



^^



Sometimes its all about context, if the accolades seem out of nowhere and totally out of step with the rest of what the critic usually enjoys then yeah, its probably shock value.



But Pitchfork and CMG have given high marks to pop rap for years so them jumpin' on the Future train isnt a suprise.

oltnabrick
August 1st 2013


37387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf when did this get reviewed

Digging: Leviathan - Verrter

Timeizillmatic9
August 31st 2013


256 Comments


this album rules hard

HolidayKirk
August 31st 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mmmmmhmmmmm.

oltnabrick
September 8th 2013


37387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My bank roll enormous

And my girl is gorgeous

Hit it with the forklift

HolidayKirk
September 8th 2013


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Got turnt to some of this tonight. This is prime time party isnt gettin drunker music.

oltnabrick
September 8th 2013


37387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Future needs a new album its been almost 2 years

JokineAugustus
September 8th 2013


8889 Comments


Shut up XD

Digging: Conjurer (UK) - Mire

oltnabrick
September 8th 2013


37387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Future needs a new album its been almost 2 years



JokineAugustus
September 8th 2013


8889 Comments


His brilliance is yet to be matched. Agreed.



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