I have to admit that, on first listen, I was really quite taken aback by this album - it isn't what I was expecting at all. Even though Primal Scream have, throughout the years, been musical chameleons, 'Beautiful Future' is different enough from their previous releases to be a genuine surprise when you first hear it. I have noticed that this album has pretty much split the fanbase down the middle and I can't say I'm shocked - this album has probably the most catchy, shimmering, near-mainstream pop Primal Scream have ever released with only glimpses of the hard-edged dirtiness which have characterised some of their most loved releases in the last decade or so.
In fact, when the opening, title track starts, complete with chiming bells, bouncy beat and radio-friendly sing-a-long chorus, you wonder if they're joking but, as it turns out, they're not - they're serious and, quite honestly, it's seriously good. The single 'Can't Go Back' is a raucous piece of brilliance which, along with the menacing 'Suicide Bomb' and the brilliant Josh Homme collaboration 'Necro Hex Blues', provide the edge and character which makes the album distinctively Primal Scream, but the album is equally as good for songs such as the mellow, chilled out 'Uptown' and the understated but catchy 'Glory Of Love'. There's even a quietly superb break-up ballad, a cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Over & Over' featuring Linda Thompson. Not everything on 'Beautiful Future' is exactly fantastic, in fact there is a distinct mid-album lull, but it's all very listenable and, on the whole, a very good album.
Leave your pre-conceptions and reservations behind - Primal Scream have made an album to be enjoyed, so just buy it with an open mind, play it, go with the flow and enjoy it but, be warned, if you want anything similar to 'XTRMNTR' or 'Evil Heat', you're likely to be very disappointed.