Aural Pleasure Review
The Big Pink: Future This
Published: January 18, 2012
Expectations are tricky things. Follow too closely and you're boring, not at all and you'll alienate your audience. With Future This, The Big Pink has found an interesting middle ground. They've made an album that seems to set after-the-fact expectations, though it doesn't always meet them. If you were expecting triumphal shoegaze, you can find it in "Hit the Ground (Superman)," where processed vocals mirror the buzzing, yawning guitars of the form, a co-opted Laurie Anderson chant huffing along in the background. Anthems pump along in "Stay Gold," "Give it Up," and "Rubbernecking." Those are, respectively, a somewhat callous paean to full-living with an epic sweep and pull, a slightly cheesy fist-pumper with shades of Survivor, and a somewhat clunky refrain-driven thumper.
The real meat of the album, though, comes in the most unexpected form. "77," Milo Cordell's haunting in memoriam, is a thing of simple beauty. A plain piano figure loops around Cordell's downturned vocals, then opens up into a bloom of sound, like an ink-drop in water. Sonic catharsis. It's not as immediately gripping as its first-go cousins, and that's the unfortunate theme of the album. It is, however, perhaps more thoughtful. Where the fuzz on A Brief History of Love was all grab and grime, here it seems to have a more nuanced intent. With layers (like that morphing Anderson bit) swirling around like blippy fractals, Future This seems intent on rewarding repeated listens with something more than merely an elevated pulse.
★★★ (out of 5 stars)