A bit of an improvement on previous efforts, but VNV mostly still leave me cold. There's nothing inherently wrong or offensive about their music, but then there's nothing much right about it either. To my ear, it's just bland, dull pop/dance with uninspired vocals. The cynic in me suspects this is why they've headlined the last 2 goth festivals I've attended, above far more challenging and (in my opinion) superior acts such as God Module and XPQ 21. An exception is 'Beloved', which has a great, infectious vocal hook, earning the album it's second star. I know this review flies in the face of accepted EBM wisdom, and if you're a mainstream bleep-head you'll probably love this to death. Personally, I like my music with more to it.
VNV Nation's most pretentious album yet! Did I say pretentious? I meant uber-pretentious! It has also become my favorite VNV Nation album. I normally find VNV Nation mild compared to Wumpscut and Ultraviolence, however this album does contain (although it is more synthy) some excellent hardcore trance dance tracks, the epitomy being "Structure" and "Epicenter". I prefer the vocals on the opening tracks, his voice is a bit harsher than usual, but the music is a bit lighter (in general). There are several excellent dance tracks (Epicenter, Electronaut, Structure, Fearless) and some excellent slow tracks Holding On, Carbon, Beloved, Airships), the slow tracks being slower than anything VNV Nation have produced yet. Carbon is my favorite track on this album. Like Beloved, it is about the harm we do to our planet and to nature with technology and our will to power. This album will make you want to dance (turn it up!!) and if you sing (badly) in your room to it, it can also make you cry! Such is the style of modern EBM: that 1990's and 22nd century child of industrial and synth pop. This is not dark or moody as previous VNV Nation albums... just like A23, Ultraviolence and Apoptygma Berzerk VNV Nation have gone 'Futurepop'.
I realise that I'm not going to be very popular in the local VNV camp, but I must say that I found this album a catastrophical disappointment. The only good thing I have to say is that the album is sleekly produced. Maybe it is Harris's vocals that I found especially annoying (he sounds like a drunken football thug). Or the fact that "Furtureperfect" hasn't one stand out danceable track on the entire album (!). It is all a mishmash of uninspired, scraggy tracks. I suppose It depends on your individual taste in EBM. If, like me, you prefer spellbinding vocals and heartfelt melodies that also make great dance music then VNV Nation, in my opinion, do not fit the bill. Check out bands like Covenant, Clan of Xymox and Apoptygma Berzerk - all superb outfits that deliver not only soaring vocals but brilliant, sensual beats. Sorry folks, I think this album is vastly overrated and I genuinely wish I hadn't bought it.
I wouldn't consider electronic body music, or industrial techno or futurepop or indeed whatever you want to call it (I'm not a great fan of genres to be honest) my favourite type of music, but VNV Nation's music has brought be greater joy over the years than any other music i have tried my ear to. The albulm begins with a piece of sentimentality concerning the current state of the world and then it opens proper with epicentre which is a pretty damn mint dance track. It's slower tracks i found a bit harder to get into but just as anything VNV the more you get to know them the more you will love them. The highlight of this albulm for me is Fearless, which blew me away the first time i heard and blows me away harder every time I go back to it. The final track on this albulm, airships, I found to be a bit out of sync with the rest of the albulm. It is good but I just think there are many better ways to finish off a VNV albulm than with a 12 minute techno lullaby.
I definately recommend this albulm to anyone who enjoys good meaningful lyrics and perhaps some great ebm (recommended not required). I will say this though, give them a chance and you will get so much out of it.
Very rarely does an album stay in my CD player longer than a day or two, futureperfect has not left my cd deck once in the four months i've owned it. Not one track on the album is less than brilliant, from the amazingly simple intro based on Elgar's "Nimrod", to the intensely intricate synths of electronaut and structure, this is the perfect album for anyone with a slight interest in EBM or one who is growing tired with the monotonous commercial dance being produced lately. This is the future of dance music, and the finest example is (arguably VNV's greast work), beloved, the best track on the cd and the best dance track i've ever heard, which from a man with close to a hundred dance albums, is quite a recommendation!