The Isness - The Future Sound of London
The Isness Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The first new album for the English electronic outfit in six years sees the band heading in a completely new direction, away from their dark electronica in favor of a more organic, psychedelic rock vibe. Surprisingly (for a FSOL album), there's guitar, vocals, strings, and harmonica, and trippy song titles such as "The Mello Hippo Disco Show." Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Through it all they keep it both consistent (without being same-y) and experimental (without being disorienting).
  2. FSOL fans may not be impressed. But for connoiseurs of sprawling, loony progtronica, this other-worldly masterpiece is so far out you need a telescope to see it.
  3. Interestingly enough, the group manages to pull most of it off, but not without some stops into new-age and downright silly territory.
  4. 70
    A big, bold, brazen statement, epic in places, charmingly flawed in others. [Sep 2002, p.110]
  5. 60
    Its simple structures create memorable and identifiable songs. [Sep 2002, p.76]
  6. This is a fascinating record that doesn't quite work in all places and, in others, seems to work all too well, and maybe too well for their own good.
  7. 30
    Once you're name-checking Supertramp and ELO as major influences, it's pretty much over. [Aug 2002, p.114]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 3 out of 10
  1. IcarasT.
    Sep 4, 2002
    this album is farking brilliant...along with other worthy realeases from the fsol presents luscious beats and ambience unrivaled by earlier realease...even so lifeforms! the isness is going into uncharted territory and is showcasing fsol experimatalism in fields they have barely touched, with great sucess in my view....watt a wicked mf! buy it now!! Expand
  2. Brap
    Sep 30, 2002
  3. MarkP
    Feb 22, 2006
    If all music was the same I would get bored. So when a brilliant group changes their direction and it works, well, bravo!!!!! This is bloody great. One of those albums that needs to be listened to more than once, but once it clicks, it's SEX. Expand
  4. MarkussX
    Feb 25, 2005
    FSOL's "The Isness" comes as something rather new and different from the band's earlier work. A mix of 90's-like electronic backbone and hippie and disco effects...The guitar sound is fantastic and the Richard Ashcroft-like psychedelic vocals are "hypnotic". Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans have my utmost respect Expand
  5. RobertF
    Jan 11, 2003
    Yes, sure, this is not FSOL in the times of Lifeforms or my Kingdom, but it´s magic too!
  6. SeanT
    Feb 9, 2004
    I already know that FSOL are very good at music, I have Lifeforms. I bought this album because I thought it would amaze me in the same way their ealier stuff did. As far as I can see this album is partyly a joke, partly to keep the money coming in, and partly an exercise in Cobain's ego saying 'look at me I'm so clever I could easily have done what the Beatles and Pink Floyd did in the 60's if I had been around then'. Yes this is excellently crafted psychedlic pop, but I'd much rather have spent my money on some of the FSOL back catalouge that I don't already have on CD than this. Expand
  7. MilodeMilo
    Aug 21, 2002
    This? After 6 years? Oh dear me no. Ah well, I guess you could tell that they were just gagging to sing, after Cobain wailed "Everyone in this world is doing something without me" in Dead Cities, probably much to his mum's praises. All of their previous works still stand the test of time, especially the latter albums and long CD singles - listened to Cascade again t'other day. Still Fantastic. The Isness is Bloody awful. That awful realisation halfway into the 2nd track CD cover...have I bought the wrong thing? Laughable... Expand

See all 10 User Reviews