The Big Pink is an English electro-rock duo who have garnered considerable acclaim for their expansive 80s-esque sound and reliable catchiness. You’ve heard their biggest single ‘Dominos’- it’s the one that always comes on the radio with its echoed chorus “these girls fall like dominos” repeating “dominos” until its forced inside your head. I know you’ve heard this song. It’s all over the place and its in your head. It’s a good single but their second album lacks that same killer impact.
There is a certain obsessive nature about recreating the 1980s. The Killers were one of the first bands that pulled it off. Its not that difficult, the band just needs to bring back the synch, add in some sideways noises, minimize the drums, and have a male singer who sounds like a woman. But in order to stand out the band needs to have their own touch of originality, or at least a original way of bring back the past. The Big Pink had this with their first album A Brief History of Love. They used their synch to create French-house beats that sounded like a riffing DJ. They had a certain freestyle, like they were creating big-band songs in a basement. Their catchiness came off with such ease, finding that new-nostalgic sound that makes bands like The Big Pink popular.
Their new album Future This lacks the flimsily freedom that allowed them to find a new-nostalgic sound. The beats are simple and repetitive pandering to the dullness of arena rock. Its like they are trying to repeat the success of ‘Dominos’ by simplifying their sound and amplifying their already explosive vocals. These songs might have catchy choruses but there isn’t much depth other than that. They shouldn’t be trying to recreate ‘Dominos’ they should be trying to find new ground.
I may be a little harsh. The album isn’t horrid. It just isn’t very original. Future This could be great for someone craving more of MGMT’s Oracle Spectacular. There are some stand out songs that could be great for a playlist or some radio play. The song ‘Hit The Ground (Superman)’ is the closest to recreating ‘Dominos’ as it has the anthem mindset, craving for arena of people to be singing along to it. ‘1313’ is the melodic sad song attempting to brighten the spirits of the despondent. ‘Doing It On My Own’ successfully brings back Duran Duran’s sound only with guitars. ‘Give It Up’ has a fun sliding bass line and an optimistic cry. Although the song ‘Rubbernecking’ is catchy in the worst way possible. The rest of the album comes off as kind of dull or forgettable. Hopefully this is just a sophomore slump and The Big Pink finds a new way of finding a compelling sound.