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Can - Future Days  CD (album) cover

FUTURE DAYS

Can

 

Krautrock

4.01 | 356 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Groovy...

First off, I have to send a big thanks to Sinkadotentree who suggested I give this band a spin. Unlike many of my reviews where I try (try being the key word here) to be slightly objective this time around, since I'm highly unfamiliar in the grounds of Krautrock I'm going to do this one purely from the perspective of me and those who know nothing about the vast German soundscape. There may not be that many people around who haven't taken the plunge into the genre yet (it's been around for a very long time), but I'm sure there are some who are still hesitant to test the waters.

Now first off, forget everything you know about... everything that has to do with music. While someone who is normally into the heavier side of things and the more metal side of things I found this album to be incredibly refreshing. It's also a fact that I tend not to like the post-rock side of things, and I've been told that Krautrock and Post-rock may very well be cousins because of how close they can sound at times. Not being well schooled in either I'm not sure I can validate that statement myself, but from what I've heard it sounds like that's true. Now I've also been told that every Krautrock album and band is incredibly different from one another, but really, this album is great place to start.

''So talk about the music already!''

Fine, I will. Employed on the album is a variety of things. First off, while the album is not devoid of melody you can certainly throw your typical song structure out the window. The music really does as it pleases as it winds around and while this is something that I find Post-Rock often does (and loses my attention while doing) this is an album who knows where to take the audience to keep them satisfied. The opening song and title track, Future Days is an excellent example of this as the drums beat and the ambient... something or other in the background whizzes away while other instruments make minimal but very important contributions. Then we get to the vocal sections.

Now, one thing that frustrated me about this album to start with was the vocals. If you're anything like me and used to over the top vocals coming from prog metal bands or even someone like Greg Lake then be prepared for something very different. The vocals are always half muted during the songs and their lyrics very hard to make out. This was something that infuriated me on the first listen, but it was on the second listen that something clicked as the cogs turned slowly in my head... that is very intentional and very well done. The vocals really just act as another instrument and should really be treated as such for maximum enjoyment of the music.

If there's one thing I've always hated about a purely ambient album is that the music is not normally engaging to someone like myself who is used to something heavy. No, this doesn't mean that it doesn't have to be heavy to be good, it just means that some people (such as myself) like to get into the music instead of letting the music get into them (if that makes any sense). This album captures the best of both worlds. It is ambient and lets you zone out and become completely introspective while, somehow, it keeps you listening, engaged and interested throughout the entire album. Perhaps it's the crazy beat of the drums or the heavy panning from one speaker to the other. Perhaps it's the fast pace or the ocean of sound (without becoming a wall) that keeps me listening, but whatever it is - it works.

As evident by the second song Spray this is a very groovy album. It's not the kind you can dance to (easily, anyways) but it really is the kind that you can get moving to. The album demands headbobbing and all the rest of the motions that you can involuntarily do while music takes you over (kind of anti-dancing). As far as strength of individual tracks go I would have to pick Moonshake (the shortest track) as one of the best, not because it's short, but because it manages to captivate and pull through it's limited amount of time as though it had all the time in the world to unfold. Bel Air also needs a highly deserved mention - this side long composition is easily the best on the album. It takes everything you've already heard from the band and makes it into an even more spacey journey that forces you to only be able to say, ''Wow...'' by the time it's over.

This is an incredibly good album that would make an excellent addition to anyone's prog collection. If you're not sure about Krautrock this would definitely be a good place to start with Can, although I can't speak for other Krautrock bands in general. Very worth getting and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone! 4 Moons shook out of 5!

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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