Primal Scream: Beautiful Future CD review (Shockhound)

There are some Primal Scream records that bristle with an energy that comes from Bobby Gillespie being neck-deep in the progressive sounds of contemporary electronic music. There are some Primal Scream records that bristle with an energy that comes from Bobby Gillespie being neck-deep in his own retro-minded classic rock record collection. And then there are Primal Scream records like BEAUTIFUL FUTURE, records that find Gillespie looking for a way to split the difference between those two seemingly incompatible tangents and realizing that they are, in fact, somewhat incompatible. While BEAUTIFUL FUTURE is far from unenjoyable, listeners on the hunt for something as bracing and bold as XTRMNTR or as joyously regressive as RIOT CITY BLUES will be disappointed by mid-tempo snoozers like “Zombie Man,” “The Glory of Love” or some of the other gelatinous, identity-free numbers that pop up throughout the album. Although “Narco Hex Blues” and “Uptown” each deliver satisfying bits of slinky, funky rockism, and “Can’t Go Back” provides ample opportunities for electro-futuristic handclapping abandon, these and BEAUTIFUL FUTURE’s other highlights are far outweighed by the middling quality of the remainder of the set.

First appeared April 28, 2009 at Shockhound.com.

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