Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top 50 Albums of the 00s - #29: The Futureheads - News and Tributes

Yep, we're counting down the top 50. Click here for overview and criteria.

The Futureheads are English as can be, right down to their crooked teeth. So English in fact, that when they try to rawk hard, it all comes out a bit, well, fey. I bring this up not to insult them but because in a way, they remind me of the Beatles. All four members sing with pitch-perfect harmony. When they're clicking, their tunes far outreach the contemporaries.

Their eponymous debut had its moments, but it was telling that the standout track was a Kate Bush cover. On News and Tributes, we get a plethora of songs that meet with the band's potential. From the peppy to the morose, the tunes are more in touch with their own style, bringing a subtle energy that never leaves the record. It could be that they are simply so on point that they are able to surpass the expectations for a rock band.

Tracks like "Back to the Sea" blend the best doo wop has to offer with the energetic beat of new wave revival. This of course means they may have made this album specifically for me. But you can't listen to these songs without feeling the urge to join in. With all four singing at once, there's always a voice to cover any sharps or flats you may produce. And while that's all fine and fun, the bigger accomplishment is capturing that aforementioned energy. Without such tightly created songs, all the harmonies in the world wouldn't be so compelling.

I should note that despite the praise I am heaping on them here, they may have made some pretty big mistakes. As good as this album is, the US-only bonus tracks are even better.

Previous Entries:
#30 - The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
#31 - Wolfmother - Wolfmother
#32 - Juno - A Future Lived in Past Tense
#33 - Bad Religion - The New America
#34 - Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
#35 - Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela
#36 - Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
#37 - Crooked Fingers - Red Devil Dawn
#38 - The National - Boxer
#39 - Hot Water Music - Caution

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