Zero 7, Jose Gonzales - Futures
Stephen Bray 23/09/2006
"Futures" is an odd hybrid of sounds. At first, the song sounds like a less wayward Beta Band, right down to the laid-back vocals so typical of that band at their blandest. Not that this is a strikingly bad thing, you understand, but it's not something that gets one particularly excited about a new single. Indeed, Zero 7 seem determined to be unexciting in some sort of effort to crack the 'dinner-party' set with one of those records that, for some reason, appeals to those sections of society who only buy a few albums every year. It seems that once a band shaves off the dangerous edges and individuality of their music, they can start going for acceptability amongst this Radio 2-style audience - somewhere where this record is likely to garner a decent amount of airplay.
The song develops into something that sounds like it could have been lifted from a Pink Floyd album of the mid 70's - just slightly updated in production. There's an encouraging bit when, seemingly towards the middle of the song, it enters into a really rather lovely instrumental break. However, once this ends, it turns out that the song has nothing new to offer and we enter the final minute and a half, which really begins to drag as the band try to flesh the track out to a decent length with odd noises and dull rhythms.
Bland, dull, uninventive. Thus it will be a rather large, cross-over hit that will appear to several different sections of the record buying public.
They'll get what they deserve.