This review was submitted by Philip Lickley. If you would like to contribute to All-Noise send your music based writings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Futureheads – Rant
After enjoying the lead single from their third album, ‘Beginning of the Twist’, I’ve followed Sunderland band The Futureheads for their past two albums – so it was a surprise for me this week at my local record store: surprise that they have a fifth album out (Rant); surprise that, from the tracklisting, it includes covers of two tracks I really like; surprise as it’s the first album I’ve bought that comes with a free beer mat; and surprise that the album is entirely a capella.
Yes, aside from a brief appearance by a tambourine, there is no instrumentation on this album, all tracks instead being delivered by the power of the band’s harmonic voices.
Unaware of this twist on the record, it does come as a treat for me as I do enjoy it when artists create alternative versions of popular records: I’m thinking of the Baseballs, Richard Cheese and others in the genre, as it can be refreshing to hear modern pop songs re-rendered in different, older musical styles.
The album is a mixture of re-arranged covers, adaptations of previous Futureheads tracks and traditional songs.
Though I’m not familiar with their first and second albums, Rant begins with an a capella version of first album track ‘Meantime’, their voices forming a great multi-layered vocal-only song. Though I have no comparison to base it on it’s certainly an enjoyable, listenable track.
The second song on the album is the highlight for me, a cover of the Black Eyed Peas ‘Meet Me Halfway’, one of my favourite songs by this band now stripped of all of Will.i.am’s production and, indeed, rapping as only Fergie’s vocals on the song get the a capella treatment. Though it’s a missed opportunity to not transfer over the raps, or at least a version of them, the song really works in a capella and becomes even more haunting than the original and allows the lyrics to stand up away from the heavy production values of the Peas original. A great cover but perhaps drags on a little too long in its conclusion.