Primal Scream - Beautiful Future
Review by Jack Foley
IF WE told you that the ninth studio album from Primal Scream boasted collaborations with Lovefoxxx of CSS, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and folk legend Linda Thompson, you’d probably have some idea of how diverse the album is.
Beautiful Future is an eclectic mix of Philly soul, dark electro, accelerated rock ‘n’ roll and pure British pop. In other words, it’s the sound of Primal Scream at their playful best.
Produced by Bjorn Yttling (of Peter, Bjorn and John) and Paul Epworth (of Bloc Party), it’s an album that unfolds at a cracking pace and revels in its ability to keep listeners on their toes. Opening salvo and title track Beautiful Future sets the standard in effortless fashion, fizzing its way through some upbeat lyricism, handclap beats, chiming melodies and an emphatic chorus that really does feel like a party starter.
It’s immediately followed by the high energy rock ‘n’ roll mix that is former single Can’t Go Back, a euphoric mix of kinetic drum beats and scuzzy guitar riffs that really is invigorating. Bobby Gillespie’s vocals provide the perfect accompaniment, imbuing it with very definite Primal Scream sensibilities, but also a wider appeal.
Uptown, meanwhile, comes over all Philly Soul with some falsetto vocals and a slinky back beat to add a sleaker vibe, The Glory Of Love is pure pop – cheesy, infectious, fun.
There’s a certain amount of controversy surrounding the central vibe behind Suicide Bomb, a down and dirty rock and roll fix that drops the incendiary chorus: “I’m going off like a suicide bomb.” The song is actually about hedonism and references drinking binges and the fast pace of modern life, but it could put some noses out of joint.
Zombie Man is a rousing blend of rock and gospel that’s energetic (check out the slide guitar), while Beauitful Summer has a dusky, neo-psychadelic feel that creates an almost BRMC haze.
The album changes pace, once more, for I Love To Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt), a top notch collaboration with CSS’ Lovefoxxx that drops a lively electro pulse, before slowing things down for the chilled out Over & Over, a blissful collaboration with Linda Thompson that marks a worthwhile cover version of the Fleetwood Mac original. It’s a nice piece of comedown music.
Josh Homme’s punchy guitar is then evident throughout final track Necro Hex Blues, which brings things to an explosive finale. All in all, then, a barnstorming ninth album from the Primal Scream boys.
Download picks: Beautiful Future, Suicide Bomb, I Love To Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt), Over & Over, The Glory of Love