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Friday, July 25, 2008

LISTENING POST

CD REVIEW

Primal Scream "Beautiful Future"


By JEFF RICHARDS

Primal Scream get back to sweet pop basics on their ninth album, "Beautiful Future" — 13 mixed-up doses of drugs and love that camouflage throbbing rock 'n' roll under layers of sticky, saccharine disco beats.

Frontman Bobby Gillespie's lyrical world is dark and moody from the start. Beneath exuberant piano chords he intones, "Take a ride around the city / Tell me what do you see / Empty houses, burning cars / Naked bodies hanging from the trees." It sounds like he's drinking with the "Parklife"-era Blur lads on the wrong side of the tracks.

Luckily, "Beautiful Future" isn't defined by one style or sound. It runs riot from the the-'80s-want-their-Moog-back synth-pop keyboards of "The Glory of Love" through the pulsing-through- the-veins bass ride of "Suicide Bomb." The resulting fix of impish, narco-narcissistic "pop songs" should sate addicts of both "EXTRMNTR" and "Riot City Blues."

There's new blood here, too. Lovefoxxx, from Brazilian indie-hipsters CSS, donates vocals on "I Love to Hurt (You Love to be Hurt)," easily the most techno offering on the album; and Queen of the Stone Age Josh Homme injects some swirling stoner rock into the compressed and driving "NecroHex Blues."

Gillespie's lyrics and world view stand in stark contrast to some of the positively upbeat music on the album. Sucking on his sweet, candied destruction hidden in a dizzy haze of disco-pop and guitars, we dance, put our hands in the air and beg for more.

Primal Scream headline the Green Stage on July 27 at the Fuji Rock Festival.


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