The Futureheads ‘The Chaos’ – Review

26 Apr

The Futureheads are back! Were they ever away, you ask? It doesn’t really feel like it – afterall four albums in six years isn’t a bad run, and they must have played every club up and down the country (not to mention festival) a zillion times by now.

‘The Chaos’ is the follow-up to ‘This Is Not The World’, an album that split their fan base down the middle. It was much more straightforward and enjoyable than the clumsy ‘News and Tributes’ but there was little doubt that some of the band’s charm had been lost – and on some tracks exterminated. Personally I don’t think they will ever recapture the magic of their early singles; ‘Decent Days and Nights’, ‘First Day’ and ‘Hounds of Love’ captured a feeling and a moment that can’t easily be rediscovered four albums into a career.

Still that hasn’t stopped them having a decent crack at it, this is easily their best work since their debut.  It’s a strong and fun loving record that certainly kept my head nodding up and down, rather than shaking from side to side, something that I experienced when listening to their last two albums.

The Heartbeat Song was wasn’t a promising first single, it’s basically a regurgitation of their older material. I was quite disappointed because they have always been a good singles band, I always saw them as one of those groups who would make a brilliant greatest hits one day. Still, if it’s not a classic song then neither is it a terrible one and that about sums up ‘The Chaos’. At It’s best it’s no more than very good and it’s worst it is no less than pretty good. There is nothing utterly brilliant on here but there is no rubbish either. In fact it’s very consistent and even if you don’t like a song the next one will be along before long. This is a nice surprise from a band who in the past have included far too much filler on their albums. Highlights for me include ‘Struck Dumb’, ‘I Can Do That’ and the vocal acrobatics of the album closer ‘Jupiter’. What I like most is that it finds a nice middle ground between their poppy stuff, their loud and fast rock stuff and the more intricate post punk stuff. It’s a balance that should please most people.

The Futureheads are pioneers in a strange way. They are the first band of that 2004 indie set (Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Razorlight etc) to release their fourth album and I’m pleased to say that they haven’t dropped the ball. They have gone back to doing what they do best and the smiles are back on their faces, and those of their fans.

7.5/10

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2 Responses to “The Futureheads ‘The Chaos’ – Review”

  1. adamagogobaby June 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    This is the correct rating for the album. The stock review score. The post-punk stuff like ‘The connector’ is ecstatically good, but I disagree about ‘I can do that’ – It’s pretty much a dirge. I suppose people will take what they want out of it, and in that sense its a pretty boring album. I reviewed it a while back and gave it much higher score than I would now. Guess I’m just not objective enough!

    • thomasmj99 June 14, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

      I was expecting a really boring, unimaginative album from them and this isn’t that. Maybe I’m only this impressed because my expectations were so low, where as your expectations were quite high, being more a fan of the band – I think everyone listening to it will kind of feel the same about it though, it’s not an album that will recieve extreme reactions of either love or hate.

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