Review: The Big Pink - Future This

by Rasmus

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The Big Pink
4AD


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The Big Pink's sophomore effort is filled with good intentions and grand ambition but ultimately leaves you wanting.

When The Big Pink ripped up the intersection between classic British rock'n'roll attitude, laid back hip hop beats, and cool electro shoegaze with 2009's 'A Brief History of Love,' the band rested comfortably in the slipstream of many a contemporary rock-out-with-your–Korg-out outlet. Fast forward three years, and follow-up record 'Future This' marks a venture into synthesizer territory over the guitar-centric sound that once defined the band.

"Forgive your lovers, but don't forget their names," muses Robbie Furze on opener 'Stay Gold.' Nope, this is not a record about slaying girls like dominoes. Still, The Big Pink's rhetorics remain anything but modest. Swooshing synthesizers and falsetto vocals are excellent for bold statements, and the duo relies heavily on both throughout the album.

Although the two seem eager to craft an album that is grand in every sense of the word, "Future This" leaves you wanting. For all their ambitions and good intentions, The Big Pink might have bitten off more than they could chew on this one. Every now and then, the duo's swing-for-the-fences instrumentation is matched by both lyrics and melody. Most of the time, however, that is not the case.

You can only tip your hat in recognition of a band whose sophomore album is this far away from their debut, stylistically speaking. Still, it seems that the desire to break with the old washed away at least part of what made The Big Pink remarkable in the first place. The majority of 'Future This' sounds exactly like the record that The Big Pink wanted to create. For the rest of us, that might not always be the preferable outcome.

The Big Pink - 'Future This' (4AD/ Playground) is out now.