Future Generation’s return with their second album and it’s a heady mix of 80’s synth pop and modern day indie pop. “Landscape” is crammed full of those earworms that you’ll enjoy to awaken your spirits in Spring and Summer or have that afterglow duvet cuddle to in Autumn and Winter.
What makes the opening track “Stranger” and title track “Landscape” stand out is that balance between old and new. The synths and vocoders that pepper around the modern day beats and guitars are both cute but infectious. Future Generations don’t always push the predictable chorus line and so enjoying the rhythm and pulse of the tracks themselves is what gets you into the groove of their album. The opener, in particular, has some clever production with ambient noise snippets and disembodied vocals, whilst the latter is like a modern-day Spandau Ballet meets The Cure with its electronic guitars razor sharp. Slower tracks like “Caught Me By Surprise” owe to bands like Soft Cell with their dreamy, thick synths leading the way. All the way through the vocals have a rock roughness to them and so that’s why I keep circling back to this feeling of old meets new but in a drunken bar.
Where the album really takes hold though is when Future Generations push this sound into new tangents and mixing other genres into their sound. “All The Same” plays with trance-like synth runners to make a retro-future dancefloor hit in the making. “Out Loud” swings back to a jazzier 70’s rock and is suitably chilled and laid back. “Take Me There” is like Aha fancied themselves as a bit more of an emo synth-pop band, whilst “Hurry Home” places the rock element front and centre for huge percussive and guitar breakdowns to mosh to in what’s actually a slower tempo track. “I Never Knew I Was Lonely” takes industrial and rock noise into something more indie-pop and creates a quirky pop anthem that you’ll struggle to stop having on repeat before the final two tracks round off the album with combinations of the above and a little nod to UB40 too. As I say, it’s a real clusterbomb of influences and sounds that revolve around the retro-future vision that Future Generations provide. Invariably some tracks will gel initially quicker than others (for me it was the indie-pop anthems that came first) but the other tracks follow on quickly. The songcraft is strong, the production has some really excellent layering and sound design which flicks from track to track and overall the albums breezy vibes are too good to let go.
If your worried Summer will take too long to return and you need some of those happier vibes in your life then “Landscape” from Future Generations will brighten up your day. Even if your singing along to less brighter topics – here you can dance around to your ruminations whilst having another excuse to wear only denim all over.
Recommended track: I Never Knew I Was Lonely
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