The fact that there is only one other review here to date speaks volumes about the plight of The Futureheads. This is an excellent album, the Futureheads are an excellent band who write great, clever, and dare I say catchy pop songs. They should be mentioned in the same company as The Small Faces, The Who, XTC, Teenage Fanclub. They bring us guitar rock/pop up there with any of the aforementioned British bands. So why not the same recognition. It beats the hell out of me. The Chaos is a return to form in my eyes, I liked News and Tributes and to a lesser extent This is not the World. But Chaos sounds like the guys have sat down, stripped things down to basics and concentrated on what bites - the song. Chaos has some excellent pop songs up there with the debut album. But don't going go thinking they have not progressed, there are complicated melodies and surprising twists and turns here. They have mastered the SATB harmonies and use their vocal skills to great effect - see the closer Jupiter. I have given Chaos four stars as there are one or two weaker tracks amongst the many gems, but hey that means there is room for improvement for the next album. Excellent live band too if you get to see them. Perhaps The Futureheads are destined to be regarded along side the likes of Teenage Fanclub, revered by their many fans but unknown to the wider public. Shame.
I wasn't impressed by this album when I first listened to it. I have since listened to it a few times and seen it performed live, it works very well along side their older stuff. Worth a listen if you are a fan of the bands previous albums.
Great service by amazon as well. I preordered this album, and it arrived the morning of the release date.
Not sure how I have overlooked the Futureheads previously. I only recently stumbled across them by chance, when I was researching the bands playing Reading, as my daughter was attending. I haven't heard their earlier stuff so cannot make any comparisons but this album is really good. Album opens with the title track, which has a strong late 70's/early 80's feel (which runs through most of the album) but doesn't sound dated at all. I'd also liken this album to Boy Kill Boy's first album (very prominent drum/percussion) which is an absolute classic and one of my favourites of the last 10 years. Heartbeat Song, which was released as the first single from the album and just sneaked into the Top 40, is a good track, but doesn't stand out above others - there are so many good tracks. The Connector is a memorable track - you'll either love it or hate it, but you will sing along to it! I Can Do That was the second single but failed to trouble the chart record keepers - and ends with a line made famous by Orville!! The Sun Goes Down is my favourite on the album - I think it stands out as a single and am surprised they haven't released it - good changes in tempo, catchy chorus, works for me. One other track deserves mention - This is the Life is probably the track that sums up the album, energetic, pacy, strong back beat and catchy/chant-type lyric. I'll be definitely buying some of the earlier albums - I hope they're as good as this, and I want to go and see them live, I'm sure they're excellent.
The futureheads' longevity has been down to tinkering with their formula whilst still retaining their personality. So the first album was quirky and manic, the second album was more melancholy and moody, and the third album (my favourite) was more direct and powerful. But whatever the style, the jagged guitars and wonderful vocal harmonies are always there.
The Chaos fails to find a fourth dimension for their sound and they seem to be repeating styles from earlier albums, so there are songs which are remeniscent of This is not the world (Bricks & stones, struck dumb) and others which are remeniscent of their debut (the baron, this is the life).
There are two tracks here which try something new but those tracks are the weakest on the album, being weird for the sake of weird (the connector) and pedestrian (sun goes down).
So it's not their best album but there's enough quality here to keep the existing fans onside. If you didn't like them originally, there will be nothing here to change your mind.