A three-year lapse between records seems to have given The Big Pink a renewed vigor. Not that the band really needed the extra push: Its debut album, 2009’s A Brief History Of Love, was generally liked and amply decorated. But the time away does appear to have been well-spent. The too-cool English duo is enthusiastic on the new Future This—and unabashedly so. Opening track and first single “Stay Gold” is a jubilant electro-rock anthem of youthful aspirations and unbridled optimism. Other standouts like “Rubbernecking” and “Hit The Ground (Superman)” are chorus-heavy arena hits, cinch sing-alongs that are melodically timed and exuberantly reverbed.
Future This is an easy listen. It’s a contemporary pop record with all the right elements in just the right places: The romantic Band Of Horses-like vocals over cheery, electronic interludes that are coolly reminiscent of Oracular Spectacular; the teen-movie soundtrack quality of M83’s Saturdays=Youth coupled with the indie credibility and earnestness of bands like Small Black and Washed Out. Add to that the production skills of Paul Epworth (Adele, Foster The People) and Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, The Killers), and Future This is an album too connected to fail. And while there is nothing particularly challenging about Future This, that’s also part of why it’s so enjoyable. It’s uncomplicated and unfettered, a perfectly fine album. It may not necessarily age well, but it will at least hold up as a nostalgic time capsule for populist post-millennial indie-rock. And, really, what’s wrong with that?