Rewind Review: “Beautiful Future” by Primal Scream

Rewind Review

Album: Beautiful Future
Artist: Primal Scream

Writers Note: I try to pick albums that are about to come out or have just been released to write reviews for, that way you can get my opinion on what is hot right on the spot. But some albums I miss, by either me forgetting to review them or by me being too busy, or even me discovering the album a few months after release. The albums that I find to be exceptional that have passed by during the year may end up as a rewind review. This is the first Rewind Review, so I hope you enjoy.

For a band named Primal Scream you would expect a metal act with the cookie monster vocals, thrashing guitars and brutal lyrics. But what approached me was a pleasant surprise.

Beautiful Future is an album with a lot of political and social commentary and undertones. The title track itself gives you a taste of the sense of humor present in the album. Cheerful church bells dinging and uplifting airy guitars lull you into a false sense of security, a warm blanket to cover you from the cold of the world. The lyrics however, paint a different picture. The first verse of the song goes as follows:

Take a ride ’round the city,
Tell me what they see.
Empty houses,
Burning cars,
Naked bodies hanging from the trees.
Don’t say what you thinkin,
Just think before you say.
If you say the wrong thing,
The man is gonna come and take you away.

Followed by some idyllic imagery painted over the bloody canvas laid out before us at the start. Suddenly the song takes a swing, as if the writer has been brainwashed into seeing something else. The repeat of that verse sees a direct change:

Take a ride ’round the city,
Tell me what they see.
Pretty houses,
Expensive cars,
Golden apples hanging from the trees.

And it is from here we can see that the album has some tricks up its sleeve. The overall happiness of the music mixed with the bleak and frightening sights spoken of by the singer is a wonderful juxtaposition that will reward those who pay attention to the lyrics and the music and take it all in.

The rest of the album has a similar, sarcastic yet uplifting tone. Each song makes you want to get up and dance, with some infectious beats and heavenly production values. But the lyrics take swipes at modern living as well as a scary future vision, and may make some assume the fetal position or put on their tinfoil hats. Some songs are also socially charged, with some personal affairs such as “The Glory of Love”.

At its core, Beautiful Future is a danceable alt-rock delight with multi-layered substance and style. While the album seems to go on forever, at the end of the ride you will not feel as if it outstayed its welcome.

Beautiful Future was released on July 21, 2008.

Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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