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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars la futura is bright....?
Interesting album,had it for a few days and i suspect its going to split the vote,i'm hedging at 3.5 stars at the moment.It most certainly aint a 5 star disc (in my humble opinion),why because it isnt as good as 'Tres Hombres',Deguello' or 'Tejas',it not got that quirkiness the made 'El Loco' such a dark horse and it sure aint 'Eliminator' so it wont be flying to...
Published 23 months ago by Mr Blackwell

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great sound, great playing, no great songs
I'd hoped that the presence of Rick Rubin in the producer's chair would give the venerable ZZ Top a much-needed kick up the songwriting ass but 40+ years in, and even 9 years after their previous album (The Beatles' entire recording career came and went in less time than it took ZZ Top to come up with this) it would appear that just ain't gonna happen and the best songs...
Published 22 months ago by freewheeling frankie


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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars la futura is bright....?, 14 Sep 2012
By 
Mr Blackwell (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
Interesting album,had it for a few days and i suspect its going to split the vote,i'm hedging at 3.5 stars at the moment.It most certainly aint a 5 star disc (in my humble opinion),why because it isnt as good as 'Tres Hombres',Deguello' or 'Tejas',it not got that quirkiness the made 'El Loco' such a dark horse and it sure aint 'Eliminator' so it wont be flying to platignum status any time soon.

So what has it got that makes me want to keep playing it? well if your'e a long term fan you'll recognise all the recycled licks and regurgitated riffs,so it not innovation,but dammit my foot taps and i keep smiling while its playin'.. so what is it? , I'll tell you what it is, its the passion's back,the soul is back,the funk is back,Rubin - love him or hate him has re-ignited the 'spark' in this band. There's a glorious groove about this disc with some beautiful lead guitar by Mr Gibbons, superbly supported by the backing of Hill and Beard(minimalistic playing and all the more welcome for it).Highlights certainly 'Over You','Heartache in Blue','I Dont Wanna Lose You' and 'Have a Little Mercy'.

It might be damning it with faint praise but it is easily the best ZZ Top disc since Eliminator(although Mescalero came close),having let it sink in over the last few days,i've warmed to it, so 3.5 stars potentially 4,,cant wait for the next one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Got Legs, 10 Sep 2012
By 
Leonardo27 (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
Nine years on from the spirited "Mescalero" ZZ Top have finally re-emerged, this time with über-Producer Rick Rubin at the helm who, aside from his more obvious qualifications for this particular gig, looks for all the world like he could easily be a member of the band anyway,

Rubin never ventures too far from the established template. If anything he helps usher the band back to their earlier roots with a dirty, grinding, greasy, bluesy sound that whilst never less than respectful of their
previous highs still manages to bring things bang up to date.

There are some surprises, prominent among them "I Gotsta Get Paid", a grungy re-working of a 1990s hip-hop track denoting the ups and downs of a Texan drug dealer's life, reimagined in typical lazy mid-paced fashion. ZZ Top don't seem in too much of a hurry to do anything these days, witness the length of time it reportedly took them in the studio this time; over three years which, given the nature of what it is they actually do and how they do it, is surprising to say the least.

Rubin really comes into his own on tracks like "Heartache In Blue" where guitars, rhythm section and harp coalesce effectively into a striking 21st century blues, whilst the band's penchant for innuendo is still alive and well, witness "Big Shiny Nine", a companion piece - if you like - to "I Got The Six" off their breakthrough album "Eliminator".

The compulsory ballad "Over You" owes more than a passing nod to "Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell", and elsewhere there are other echoes of earlier works, perhaps unsurprising after so many decades in the saddle.

But, somehow, aided and abetted by the estimable Mr Rubin these undisputed masters of three-chord rock have still summoned up the energy, vitality and creativity to create another winning album that more than holds its own with the best that this trio has produced since those distant heady days of the 1980s.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time boys!, 13 Sep 2012
This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of ZZ Top since I was 14. Even then Eliminator was 5 years old. It was the highly commercial sound of the band in this 80's era, especially with Afterburner that I loved. I had no interest at all in their back catalogue of 'blues'. I just wanted synthed-up over produced MTV bearded wonderment.
I recall being disappointed with my first listen of Recycler in 1990. As the follow-up to Afterburner I felt seriously let down with the lack of technological sounds.
Then it became my favourite album. The tunes were grittier, bluesier, but great. And you could hear the band play! It wasn't just Billy in a room with a guitar, a drum machine and a producer replacing Frank and Dusty.
A change of label to RCA brought us Antenna in 1994. It was hailed as a 'back to basics' return to form. There was some great stand-tracks like PCH, Breakaway, and Cherry Red. But it certainly lacked great tunes overall, and really wasn't the 'return to form' the critics suggested. That is assuming those critics were referring to the bands early days of Rio Grande Mud and Tres Hombres, which at this point I was going back on my original interest and realising what a fantastic trio these guys were!
And 'were' was the point. Because Rhythmeem in 96 was another turn for the worse in my new found love of bass, guitar, drums and a good melodic lyric. Instead (with the exception of the first single What's up With That) it was tuneless grungey filtered nonesence. And to me sounded more over-produced with crazy effects than Afterburner!
Then we had XXX in '99. Although it's in my collection, I'd rather not even think about it. I can't believe my favourite band would even issue this as an album. More effects, noises, yes there's guitar, but no songs! It was a joke!
Mescalero gave me hope in 2003, with some great tunes. 'Going so Good' is brilliant. Dusty's ''Piece" and 'Two ways to Play' is a great rock tune. Billy's voice is getting more gruff at this point, but it's to the albums credit. The grungry guitar remains, but there's more sing along melodies and real band playing sounds that have been lacking for some time again.
Now we've been waiting for 9 years for La Futura to drop. I was terrified it was going to be a huge dissapointment. But it's not.
I'm hoping it's not just Rick Rubin replacing career length producer Bill Ham that has made ZZ Top record their best album in 22 years, but if it is, thank you Rick! Every track is great. I don't skip a single one. The grungey non-melodic guitar is gone, and we're back to just great rocking blues tunes, with a very blatant 'live' sound of a band playing together. Real drums, real bass, very few studio effects. There's no tracks sung by Dusty, but Billy's raw croaky vocals work brilliantly on this fantastic album that isn't a Tres Hombres reworking, or even Eliminator. It takes all of ZZ Tops strengths over the last 41 years and delivers an album worth waiting for.
I'm a bit drunk writing this, hence the length! Plus it's my first ever review, but felt it had to be done. Although there are a few on here, there just aren't enough for how good it really is!
If you love classic old-school ZZ, Eliminator, or whatever. Just buy it. Get the beers in and love the tunes!
Have mercy!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ZZ Got Their Mojo Back, 11 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. R. Powell (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
For some 2012 will be remembered for the Olympics, for others a British man finally winning a tennis major will be the highlight, or perhaps a Brit finally winning the yellow shirt (Without illegal substances)at the Tour De France will be what sticks in the mind. But for those of us who love our classic rock 2012 might well be remembered as the year of the comeback album. Firstly, in February Van Halen gave us the album we thought they no longer had in them. Then in June along came Rush with Clockwork Angels just to show that they not only have not mellowed with age but improved. And now in September that L'il Old Band from Texas serve up this delicious concoction of classic blues rock.

As with Van Halen with 'Tatoo', we got an early taster of the album with the single and lead off track 'I Gotsa Get Paid'. The track is an interesting mix of their '70's sound and their Eliminator sound. Low down and dirty with a more modern edge thrown in every now and then to show that they still listen to what's going on around them. Then we have 'Chantreuse', straight out of the same mixing bowl that 'Tush' was produced in. 'Flyin High' has an AC/DC sound to the guitar along with a catchy as hell chorus, to be followed by 'It's Too Easy Manana' who's guitar progression sounds a little too close for comfort to 'The Boys From Alabama' by Drive By Truckers, you half expect Patterson Hood to break in and start telling us about crooked cops, but once it gets going it's ZZ all the way. Of course there is the obligatory slow blues track, 'Over You' the albums 'Rough Boy' but without the over production. And speaking of production, credit must go to Rick Rubin for managing to get these guys to do what Metallica did, get back to their roots. He really has encouraged them to dig deep into their back catalogue and pull out all the ingredients that made them a great band in the first place and throw them together again to produce classic Top.

So the gauntlet has been thrown down, three great bands showing that middle to old age is no barrier to producing great music. Aerosmith, it's up to you now to finish the year in style and make it a quartet of classic comeback albums.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for the old fans, 14 Sep 2012
By 
DJ Carr (Falkirk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
I love the older pre eliminator albums which are all great, duff track here and there but generally all good.Eliminator trio of albums were okay, had some great tracks but more filler tracks than previous work. Everything since then has had the odd decent track and everything else was a fuzzy, mushy, overdriven noise and not up to standard. Personally I couldn't understand how they could be so good on one hand and so very bad on the other. Other people seem to like it though so might just be me but if you feel the same way I would encourage you to give this a try. If you love the older stuff this won't become your favourite album but it's a good reminder of why you loved them to start with while still remaining fresh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 25 Mar 2013
By 
J. B. Connor "Fortress" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
Brilliant album. Showing just what this band are best at. Can't stop playing it, have it on in the car, then find myself going out to get it to play it inside!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great comeback, 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: La Futura (Booklet Version) [+digital booklet] (MP3 Download)
After one listening only, my first impression: thunderous bass and guitar, with unobtrusive drumming underpinning it all. Wonderfully expressive vocals from Billy, with his well-aged voice, supported well by Dusty's clearer pipes in the background. Most of the songs rock along in typical ZZ Top style, with one standout blues ballad that reminded me of Tres Hombres - still their best record.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great sound, great playing, no great songs, 20 Oct 2012
By 
freewheeling frankie (north London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
I'd hoped that the presence of Rick Rubin in the producer's chair would give the venerable ZZ Top a much-needed kick up the songwriting ass but 40+ years in, and even 9 years after their previous album (The Beatles' entire recording career came and went in less time than it took ZZ Top to come up with this) it would appear that just ain't gonna happen and the best songs on here are merely quite good - and they're mostly in the first half. Not a long album either - 40 minutes & 10 songs would've fit comfortably on an LP.

However ... the production is great. It's probably their least gimmicky-sounding album since ... ooh, Tejas perhaps. Not that some of the gimmickry hasn't served them very well, but some of it resoundingly didn't and this is just a superbly recorded grungy blues-rock album. In particular, the drums sound like .... drums and the guitar sound kills at 20 paces.

Basically they sound remarkably like ZZ Top ought to and Rick Rubin has got fine performances out of them even on the least interesting songs. There's loads of superb guitar playing from Mr Gibbons - perhaps more, and better, than on some of their more recent (less ancient?) albums - and when they're boogieing merrily away and everything sounds just like it should it's quite easy to forget that whichever song you're listening to isn't that hot. Vocally, Billy Gibbons's croak is sounding more and more like a Texan Tom Waits (not a bad thing) and the only missing ingredient is anything with lead vocals by Dusty Hill - a shame if you think of Bad Girl from Eliminator, or their version of Jailhouse Rock.

So I guess this is the best album ZZ Top could've come up with after 42 years together - shame about most of the songs but you can ignore that a lot of the time. Perhaps next time round they should make a covers album - let's face it, whatever they play, their sound is so instantly recognisable it'll still be a ZZ Top record.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orgasmic, 30 Nov 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
This is quite possibly the greatest rock album so far this century.
Ignore those one-star doubters who`d have you believe all the songs sound the same (they don`t) or it`s `not like their early stuff` (why should it be?) and revel in the raunchiest, most in-yer-face rock you`ll have heard for many a Texan moon.
I Gotsta Get Paid is the opening track, as well as the single, and I can`t begin to tell you how exciting it is. Nobody has come up with a gutsier, more stupendous rock song for years.
Over You is a rootsy ballad, sung hauntingly by Billy Gibbons, with subtle strings coming in when you least expect, and a brief guitar solo to melt the heart. A great track which is so lovely and so heartfelt, it brought tears to these eyes.
Heartache In Blue is glorious. So is Flyin` High, as is an absolute stunner called It`s Too Easy Manana, another tremendous number. There really isn`t a filler or dud on the whole album.
On not a few tracks they even sound like Beefheart & his Magic Band, and that`s meant as the highest praise. I really think the old Cap`n would have appreciated the grit and raunch of these songs.
Between them, Rick Rubin and Billy Gibbons have come up with a sound that suits the Top down to the ground. I for one rejoice. This is one of the finest straight-ahead rock bands as they were always meant to be heard: in the raw, in the rough, and in the flesh - well, that`s what it sounds like, so immediate is the superlative production, with guitars, vocals etc as `in the room`, as they could ever be.
I can`t stop playing this truly great, orgasmic rock album.
If this is La Futura, bring it on!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Little 'Ol Band Is Back !!!, 11 Sep 2012
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
Well finally the wait is over,La Futura is here.

We had already heard some of the tracks on the Texacali EP,so we did get some idea of what to expect.

Anyhow,as a lifelong ZZ Top fan,I was hoping,even praying this would not be a disapointment.Thankfully,it's a great return to form from a legendary band,40 years young.

This album represents a huge tip of the hat to their earlier recordings with the obvious blues influence,whilst it still manages to sound fresh and current with songs like "I gotsta get paid" . ZZ Top never pretend to be anything other than that little 'ol band from texas,but they have always been a band thats not been afraid of reinventing themselves.I think they have totally succeeded in not only reinventing themselves,but re-establishing the fact that they are still one hell of a force to be reckoned with.

Should you buy it ? Of course,without hesitation,but then i may be biased !!

ZZ Top are still one of the best bands out there,and the good Reverend Willy G is without doubt one of the coolest people on the planet.They dont make 'em like these guys anymore.........(blackberry smoke excluded) !!!
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