The Futureheads: Rant

The Futureheads
(Nul Records)

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English band The Futureheads has always made use of its members’ ability to harmonize beautifully. With Rant, they take this talent one step further, producing an album made entirely of a capella songs. This collection includes new renditions of old Futureheads songs, covers of popular tracks (including, of course, Kelis’ “Acapella”), and takes on old classics.

The concept would feel gimmicky if The Futureheads didn’t often make use of layered vocals. For instance, “Meantime” sounds so much like the original version that it becomes easy to lose yourself in the music. It’s not the sort of album that you would put on at a party or to get dancing, but it’s relentlessly fun and bridges the genres of Britpop and barbershop.

The tracks from The Futureheads’ first album, such as “Robot” and “Man Ray,” work ridiculously well in this format, but don’t count the covers out by a long shot. The Blackeyed Peas’ “Meet Me Halfway” sounds much more respectable as a plaintive, unaccompanied ballad, and Sparks’ “The No. 1 Song in Heaven” is fresh and timeless when stripped back to just the lyrics.

This project might not attract new fans for the band, but it’s proof that they aren’t always full-throttle indie either.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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