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Friday, June 2, 2006
LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS
The Futureheads "News and Tributes"
By IAN MARTIN
The Futureheads made a name for themselves in 2004 with a fierce and spiky self-titled debut album characterized by a strong resemblance to XTC, but tempered by a unique way with four-part vocal harmonies. This sophomore effort cuts down on the spikiness, the harmonies and the fierceness (although not the resemblance to XTC), and cranks up the maturity, melodicism and sophistication.
Sound horrible? Well, that's probably because you haven't heard "Skip To The End," a masterwork in punk-pop minimalism, with a supercharged chorus that matches the sharp lyrical concept by being as sweet and poppy as imaginable. Elsewhere, the appeal of The Futureheads' lyrics is still apparent. Employing the recurring mechanism of presenting a believable human narrative shorn of nearly all background and context, there is a sense of reality filtered through a veil of ambiguity. The result is that, despite its slower pace, "News And Tributes" successfully builds on the success of that debut.