Future Islands - The Far Field
In 2014 Future Islands trailed a blaze on late night TV in America that led to the world we live in now where James Corden is a huge success Stateside and Lip Sync Battle has its own TV show. They performed on Letterman, sent the internet crazy, and became a true overnight success. With their fourth album. The problem they have is that expectations are now sky high - if that's a problem - and the world is watching to see whether The Far Field has anything approaching the zeitgeist-iness of 'Seasons (Waiting On You)'. The bar has been set.
So it's a slight reality check that their fifth album doesn't knock your socks off on first listen. The trio were never really meant for the mainstream, and though opener 'Aladdin' is very promising the constant repeating of 80s synth and front man Samuel T Herring's very idiosyncratic vocals aren't always easy to digest. But it's a grower. And that's kind of Future Islands thing, they've never been an instant smash, in your face, kind of band or sound. Tracks like 'Ran', with it's slow build, 'Beauty Of The Road' with Herrings plaintive vocals dominating, and the disco friendly 'North Star' all resonate, but there's something unrelentingly, and unashamedly, old fashioned, and dare it be said, samey, about Future Islands. It's whether you can get on with that that dictates whether The Far Field is for you.