The Big Pink ‘Future’

There seems to be a huge necessity to find new sounds in English bands in this modern age, and the Big Pink isn’t any different. With retro hip hop and electronic sounds similar to what other bands in the U.K. are doing (i.e. Coldplay and Radiohead), the Big Pink’s “Future This” doesn’t really provide anything revolutionary. It only follows up on what other peers are doing in Europe and America.

Awarded the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act in 2009, the English duo of Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell stated that their second record would have a strong hip hop influence despite their categorization as an electro rock band, a move that didn’t turn out quite so well.

The first track and single, “Stay Gold,” strays away from the hip hop claim in the pre-release talks and strikes with a slow electro rock anthem. Repetitive lyrics sung by Furze are similar to better-known artists such as MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden or Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos.

This lead single’s lyrics are hardly understandable, but they emphasize the urge to “Forgive your lovers but don’t forget their names” over an optimistic steampunk organ, a contrast to their debut album “A Brief History Of Love” in which the main message related that love is damaged and dark in nature. Unfortunately, “Stay Gold” isn’t very strong and doesn’t stick well, even after a few listens.

“Hit The Ground (Superman)” and “Give it Up” actually use hip hop influences in terms of synthesizer selection and drumming patterns; however, the songs feel a bit too contemporary and almost like direct adaptations of current bands, such as Coldplay and Kasabian. All of this gives the impression that they may be trying too hard to break it into the mainstream.

“Give It Up” still delivers in terms of innovation, though. It’s almost a perfect blend of hip hop drumbeats and piano interludes with indie rock and soul vocals. It stands out among the other tracks because it actually does sound like a hip hop track instrumentally.

The rest of the album, unfortunately, overuses the same style organ riff to drive verses and their repetitive but uncatchy choruses, which gives the album a sense of lazy composition. While it isn’t quite correct to call “Future This” a complete failure, the album isn’t really a breakthrough either. Rather, it is a compilation of tracks that with a bit more of polishing could’ve become better hits. It does have a few notable tracks, namely “Stay Gold,” “Give It Up” and “77,” but the rest simply isn’t even memorable.

Fans of the electronic rock scene should check out their first album for a better sampling of the Big Pink’s sound. “Future This” isn’t the remarkable piece that will get them noted in the mainstream music scene, but hopefully with more time, they might expand to be one of the biggest electronic bands out of England. They should just stay away from becoming an electro pop band.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5