Future Generations hit their stride on sophomore album Landscape - they almost nail it.
Second albums are tricky things to get right. Repeat the same thing as the debut and you get accused of playing it too safe, but if you change things too much and you’ll alienate your existing fans. Unless you are The Horrors that is - but it's tricky. This is the dilemma Future Generations faced recording their second album Landscape
. What they deliver is an album that expands their songwriting palate and shows a progression of their indie electro-pop sound.
‘Stranger’ gets things going with something that sounds akin to Eno’s ‘Deep Blue Day’. After this brief intro ‘Stranger’ kicks into gear and we’re off with catchy guitars, stuttering synths and a spirit of fun. Title track ‘Landscape’ is one of the standout moments on the album. There is a poppy Foster the People vibe to it, but it without sounding as calculated and precise and with better solos. Soaring vocals and a propelling backing track come together for a chorus that has sing-a-long written all over it. ‘Take Me There’ has a Kraftwerk/Coldplay vibe to it with a catchy keyboard riff that peppers the song, giving us something to latch on to. As ‘Take Me There’ progresses you get slowly pulled into its delicate melodic patterns. ‘I Never Knew I was Lonely’ features one of the most honest lyrics on the album. “I never knew I was lonely until I met you.” A lyric we can all relate to, and this level of honesty is refreshing and revitalises the final few songs on the album. It also features one of the most abrasive and abstract backing tracks on the album. Clicking beats and sublime chimes keep everything progressing forward as the vocals lilt and swell. ‘Incomplete’ closes the album fittingly with gently undulating guitars and serene vocals.
‘Landscape’ is a strong follow up to their self-titled 2016 debut. It shows a band that is about to hit their stride. They’ve grown as songwriters and musicians. Yes, there are a few missteps. The sombre’ Caught Me By Surprise’ drags after the poppy ‘Landscape’, and ‘Out Loud’ feels like filler sandwiched between the tight ‘All the Same’ and ‘Take Me There’. You get what they are trying to do and how a slow-burning pop song at the right place could work as the centrepiece of the album, and they almost nail it. Almost. Hopefully, by their third album, all the kinks would have been ironed out and Future Generations will release the album they’ve always hinted at.