--a hopelessly optimistic moniker for their ninth album, no matter which way you approach it, since Primal Scream are almost universally accepted to have strutted past their zenith around the same time they helpfully mislaid their vowels (on 2000s unrelentingly anarchic Xtrmntr
). To claim any future, especially after the all-too-brief successes of 2006s turgid Riot City Blues
, let alone a handsome one is foolhardy to say the least. But, you see, theyre actually being cuttingly sarcastic, or so we ascertain from Bobby Gillespies ham-fisted sloganeering on the title tracks tirade against modern ills ("you live by the sword, you die by the sword, youre only free to buy things you cant afford", etc.). If anything in particular is exposed as a spent force here it is he and his pen, sense disregarded to the point of parody, words drifting like flotsam amid the bands systematic attempts to reinvent themselves. The small miracle is that they just about manage. "Beautiful Future" leads into the album with a curious and eventually overwhelming infectiousness, gleaming like CSS delivering a Shirelles pastiche complete with cheesy bell-ringing and an effeminate vocal delivery that almost clouds over the lyrical content. "I Love to Hurt (You Love to Be Hurt)" actually features CSSs Lovefoxx as this albums Kate Moss and holds its own with some minimalist malevolence. As an album it jerks and it stumbles, lacking a definitive identity, but it at least ensures theyll live to see another day. A future of some sort is assured. --James Berry
'BEAUTIFUL FUTURE' is Primal Scream's tenth album release and their first for B-Unique. The bulk of the album was produced by Björn Yttling [Peter, Björn and John] and Paul Epworth (Bloc Party).
The album features guest collaborations from Lovefoxx of CSS, Josh Homme from Queens Of the Stone Age and folk legend Linda Thompson.
For a band that has released not one but two decade-defining albums (1991's Screamadelica and 2000's XTRMNTR) Primal Scream really deserve a lot more love and respect than they get. Sure, there have been moments when they've musically shot themselves in the foot and even the most ardent fan would find it hard to defend some of Bobby Gillespie's more, um, memorable lyrics, but for sheer enthusiasm, energy and belief in the power of rock 'n' roll, along with being the best live band in Britain, they cannot be beaten.
Mostly produced by Peter, Björn and John's Björn Yttling, this ninth album sees little of the old school rockin' and not really much in the way of the shrieking sonic voyaging that are the hallmarks of your typical Scream album. Instead, it's being billed as the band's 'pop' album, full of 'sugar coated bullets'. To drive this point home further, some tracks were even recorded in the studio where Abba made Dancing Queen. This is evident in the album's opener and title track, where a lightness of touch (and bells) make it one of the most pop moments they've ever done - disregarding for a moment the bit about ''bodies hanging from trees''.
Other stand-out tracks include the more driving rockout of Paul Epworth-produced single, Can't Go Back, the slinky dirty-Chic groove of Uptown, alongside the album's three collaborations; I Love To Hurt, with CSS' Lovefoxx making for a somewhat seedier Je'taime; Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme on psychotic album closer, Necro Hex Blues; and folk legend, Linda Thompson, on the rather lovely cover of Fleetwood Mac's Over & Over. Beautiful Future's rosy glow only dims briefly with the slightly rubbish Ringo Starr-alike, Zombie Man, otherwise it's magic all the way.
25 years, nine albums and an ever-growing fistful of classics on, there's still no band like them. And on this evidence any pretenders should hold off on the applications to take over for now. Here's to a beautiful future... --Ian Wade
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CD B-Unique Records, 5051442923728, 2008 PROMO STICKERED