album review for the skinny
Primal Scream - Beautiful Future (**)
It’s hard to stay sympathetic to a band who sink to the depths Primal Scream sometimes hit; and again, on ninth album Beautiful Future, the effect of two particularly awful tracks makes me doubt everything about the rest. The contrived shoutalong anthem-baiting of Zombie Man would leave The Fratellis tutting loudly, while Suicide Bomb’s tired and empty posturing would shame a Kasabian b-side. The druggily upbeat title track - sure to be licensed by advertisers who’ll fail to recognise the cynical sarcasm of the titular hook - and Beautiful Summer’s darkly dramatic Depeche Modes stand out, but in this context that’s not hard. Where is the band that recorded XTRMNTR less than a decade ago? Closing track Viva hints it’s still about, but for now that brilliant aggressive focus is being crowded out by an impulse towards retro-rock’n’roll that leaves Bobby Gillespie acting like a rebel without any apparent cause.
I'm not always a fan of Alexis Petridis, but he wrote a really excellent long-form review of this album. It is here -> * <-.