Bringing us their ninth album, it’s fair to say Primal Scream have been cut some slack by fans in the past. As you expect from well-established artists, some albums have satisfied fans more than others. Their latest, ‘Beautiful Future’ lies somewhere in the middle of that imaginary satisfaction scale.
There are some good tracks on this album; and more often than not the tracks with less strength are those where you just cannot believe Bobby Gillespie’s passion for the lyrics.
Take ‘Suicide Bomb’, a track that takes a good while to kick off and when it does, you realise it wasn’t really worth the wait. Drawls of ‘I’m going off like a suicide bomb! I see the beauty in everything’ from Gillespie are hollow; you get the impression the band are just trying to show they are up-to-date with current topics.
‘Zombie Man’ comes from nowhere, a bit of glam rock to cheer up the mid-section of the album. It makes little sense, but is worth a listen just for a bit of fun.
Collaborations have been brought out for this album, with CSS’s Lovefoxx joining the family on ‘I Love To Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt)’. The track lacks the punch that you’d like to hear, mainly because Lovefoxx and Gillespie have similar flimsy vocals, which are interesting solo, but do not respond greatly to sharing.
Josh Homme’s turn on ‘Viva!’ is also relatively uninspiring and it is the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Over & Over’ with folk singer Linda Thompson that gives the best collaborative performance on the album.
Bobby Gillespie is often seen hob-nobbing with the Primrose Hill lot, citing little anarchy in day to day life, and this is why the album could never be received completely with open arms.
Title track ‘Beautiful Future’ opens with the lyrics “Take a drive around the city, tell me what do you see? Empty houses, burning cars, naked bodies hanging from a tree” and it grates slightly that Gillespie and Co. probably don’t see much of that in their swanky part of town, but are quite content to sing about it.
Just to reiterate, this album has some good music, perhaps just enough to appease the long-standing fans. However, in trying to fight the socialist fight, some of the lyrics can wear thin and you can’t help but think that the band are just trying to stay topical.