The Big Pink
The Big Pink got pretty lucky with the success of their first album A Brief History of Love. For the most part, the album was a boring cluster of filler tracks. The hit single “Dominos” was a huge tent-pole track for the album. Slipping in at the 3-spot, it almost made the first two tracks much more worth-while to listen to. Beginning at track 4, the album began sliding back downhill, and began feeling worthless to continue by the time you made it to the title track. Sonically the album was huge. And to be honest, they did a great job mixing electronica into their pop-rock sound.
The Big Pink’s follow up album Future This, has essentially the same effect, minus the tent-pole track and dynamic sonic capabilities. Like I said earlier, their saving grace on the last album was coming up with a poppy hook for Nicki Minaj/J-J-J-J-J Rrrr to sample and run a muck with. To be fair, “Dominos” would have found an audience either way, but it sure didn’t hurt having one of the biggest female acts of 2011 toss your hook on one of her own tracks. Their opening track is the closest they come to imitating “Dominos”, but it doesn’t come close to living up to its predecessor.
^My guess is that her biggest draw to The Big Pink was her blatant obsession with the color found in the bands name.
Future This begins by immediately climaxing with “Stay Gold”, the track that I just mentioned, trying to imitate “Dominos”. Instantly, the first thing I thought was that I was listening to a lame version of “Dominos”. It felt like a flat boring version of the song, with a very poor latter-day U2 type chorus. Rather than a fun, catchy, beamingly youthful chorus that Nicki could have fun sampling. This let-down of the first track was just the beginning. Like I said, “Stay Gold” was the climax. If I were attempting to please a lady with this album, she’d have to wait about another 45 minutes or so in order for me to come up with something in my reserves for her to be satisfied.
Track two is laughable. Not only do the vocals remind me of how the forgettable The Shins are, but they also use Superman as a metaphor in the chorus … with NO REGARD … as if the 90’s/early 00’s DIDN’T happen, and bands like Five for Fighting, Crash Test Dummies, Three Doors Down, and Dave Matthews Band hadn’t already ruined the famed superhero for us enough.
^It ain’t easy … to be … this lame! — And it’s a SINGLE?!
It’d honestly be better for listeners to go into this album like you would a classically terrible horror film, or a Leslie Nielsen comedy, or a Michael Bay “movie”. If you just assume it’s going to be terrible, you may at least find things you can enjoy about it (not the case with Michael Bay “movies”, not including The Rock or Scarlett Johansson’s presence in The Island). In Future This for instance, you have “1313”, the most dynamic and easily the most enjoyable track on the album. You also have sparse moments in the tracks “Lose Your Mind”, and like I already mentioned, “Stay Gold” that are enjoyable.
Maybe my expectations were too high. I’m not sure why they would have been, I liked A Brief History of Love, but I certainly didn’t love it. In a time where a lot of bands are so very cheaply and blatantly ripping of the 80’s music style (a style that had already overstayed its welcome) if you aren’t doing it well, don’t even try. Especially if you’re poorly trying to fuse it with hip-hop beets, have laughably pathetic lyrics such as “Rubbernecking”, and imitate the vocal stylings of The Shins. Poor form The Big Pink. I will not be anticipating your next album … maybe that will help me enjoy it more.
Can’t Miss: “1313”, “Stay Gold”
Can’t Hit: “Hit the Ground (Superman)”, “Rubbernecking”, “The Palace”, “77”