• Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Jul 7, 2014
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
Buy On
  1. 100
    The album was recorded in Berlin and the dark pulse of that Krautrock influence gives the songs a steely sleekness of purpose (and real cohesion), while the band layer a vigorous variety of sounds and tempos on top to keep things interesting.
  2. Classic Rock Magazine
    Dec 18, 2014
    90
    Futurology isn't just the best album the Manic Street Preachers have made this century, it's arguably the best album of the year. [Aug 2014, p. 206]
  3. Jul 21, 2014
    90
    They're more infatuated with Neu! and Kraftwerk or Public Image Ltd, but these jagged, difficult sounds are filtered through the trio's now instinctual arena-filling gestures and that tension is what gives Futurology a resonant richness.
  4. Jul 21, 2014
    90
    There’s plenty to be pleased about here.
  5. Aug 15, 2014
    80
    Futurology can just about stand toe-to-toe with any of their past albums. Even if it doesn’t surpass any of their “classics” (pick one), it’s comes close enough that you won’t really care.
  6. Kerrang!
    Jul 22, 2014
    80
    The Maniacs prove persuasive enough to bring you round to their way of thinking. [12 Jul 2014, p.54]
  7. The Manics’ band identity proves robust enough to withstand the tweaking.
  8. Jul 3, 2014
    80
    Futurology never feels like a pastiche, and sounds unmistakably like the Manic Street Preachers while sounding unlike any other album they've made.
  9. Taking so many chances means there are inevitable hiccups, but they scarcely matter.
  10. Mojo
    Jul 2, 2014
    80
    Ultimately, Futurology is brave and unexpected, and though some of it galls, much is magnificent. [Aug 2014, p.87]
  11. Q Magazine
    Jul 1, 2014
    80
    As long as they continue to ask themselves difficult questions, and answer them with records as full of fire and vitality as Futurology, failure is not an option. [Jul 2014, p.113]
  12. Jul 1, 2014
    80
    Futurology is the Manics doing what they do best, with added Krautrock, Georgia Ruth and Green Gartside.
  13. Jul 1, 2014
    80
    Every track is quite full of life and holds no lack of energy that characterizes good, classic British rock ‘n’ roll.
  14. Aug 21, 2014
    75
    With their twelfth album and one of their best in years, Manic Street Preachers display a stylistic freedom that one might call reinvention if it didn't still sound just like the Manics.
  15. Uncut
    Jul 7, 2014
    70
    For the most part, though, this is the Manics as you'd want them to be--thrilling, bombastic and sometimes ridiculous, but still raging. [Aug 2014, p.75]
  16. 70
    Futurology just happens to be their most daring folly yet.
  17. Jul 1, 2014
    70
    The bloat of Tigers and Postcards is gone without a trace; in its place is the sound of a band that’s slain the AOR dragon and finally got back to making the music they feel like making.
  18. The Observer (UK)
    Jul 7, 2014
    60
    No chance of paunchy homage here; lyrics cluttered with Munch, war and the Chartists and the tightly coiled energy of its best moments, such as Misguided Missile and instrumental closer Mayakovsky, suggest they are fronting up to middle age rather well.
  19. Jul 1, 2014
    60
    Futurology is a much more polished and decidedly odd record featuring some of the band’s most enjoyably gonzo work since debut Generation Terrorists, as well as their most forwardthinking music to date.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Jul 22, 2017
    9
    The film has been rewound, but now it's time to look at the future.

    From the start it is obvious that this is the Manic's most positive and
    The film has been rewound, but now it's time to look at the future.

    From the start it is obvious that this is the Manic's most positive and forward thinking album; the opening title track is the biggest indicator of this, with its proclamation that "We'll come back someday, we never really went away." Don't let the album cover, with its cold, desolate landscape visual, be an indicator of the music within, for it is far from bleak and lifeless.

    The Manic's, for all intents purposes, never left us - at least not in the physical sense. But one can certainly feel that ever since the pinnacle of success they've not been as memorable, that is not to say that the band has been bad but it has lost focus. With its latter day albums reflecting on the past (culminating with 2013's Rewind the Film) Futurology comes as a fresh start to a new phase that embraces tomorrow whilst paying homage to the band's influences.

    Its difficult to produce an album where every track is a killer, but the Manic's have done just that, and the result is what I consider to be their second best album (only the monumental The Holy Bible can top it). With the music, the group employs their usual anthemic style, but on some songs the result is an almost dance-rock style clearly inspired by 70s and 80s krautrock, and with this newfound focus the album is more consistent than previous works which had tried too hard to be diverse. As for the lyrics, they are the most positive that Wire and co. have written in their history - again, still employing their trademark political and historical, but unlike previous records where the songs were attacks on "Futurology" the songs are statements, statements with huge sing-along choruses (my personal favourite of these is "Misguided Missile", which happily proclaims "I am the sturm and drang/I am the schadenfreude" but also comforting us with the knowledge that the band "can still fill your void").

    In all, the Manic's have produced their best album in many years, if not the best of their entire career. They haven't sounded so optimistic since 1996. It's time to move forward.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 23, 2014
    10
    Futurology is amongst this band's best work. They've made some great albums (1994's The Holy Bible and 1996's Everything Must Go), but likeFuturology is amongst this band's best work. They've made some great albums (1994's The Holy Bible and 1996's Everything Must Go), but like many bands, they've had their moments where they've made a not-so-good album (2001's Know Your Enemy, for instance, although I enjoyed this album and 1993's Gold Against the Soul).

    Their last few albums haven't been bad, but I've not enjoyed them so much. I liked the immediate predecessor, 2013's 'Rewind the Film' more than some fans did. But unlike them, I didn't like 2010's 'Postcards from a Young Man' and 2007's 'Send Away the Tigers' so much, although they had some really good highlights. This shows that everyone has different opinions on albums, and in general, anything really.

    I had high expectations for this album, following my first listen to single 'Walk Me to the Bridge', and further track 'Europa Geht Durch Mich', which was released before the album. And well, you've probably seen what score I've given to the album already, and yes, it bloody well lived up to those high expectations!

    I received my copy of the album on it's release date, it was one of the signed copies from the band's website which came with a T-shirt with the cover image printed on. From first listen to now, I love it. And there's many great, great tracks on the album. It's my favourite album by the band since 2004's much opinion dividing, commercial flop 'Lifeblood'. I don't tend to count 'Journal for Plague Lovers', although I strongly like that album.

    Highlights (Yes, there's lots, so what?): The singles (Walk Me to the Bridge, Europa Geht Durch Mich). As well as the title track, 'Let's Go to War', 'Divine Youth', 'Sex, Power, Love and Money', 'Misguided Missile' and 'Mayakovsky'.

    Several guest vocalists appear on the album, similar to that of 'Rewind the Film', which featured Richard Hawley and Cate Le Bon on tracks each. Georgia Ruth, Cian Ciaran from Super Furry Animals and Green Gartside all feature on a track each. This isn't a bad thing having guests, it worked when Nina Persson from The Cardigans featured on Your Love Alone is Not Enough and became a big hit in the UK singles chart (It reached number 2, being held off by Beyonce and Shakira's Beautiful Liar)

    All in all, Futurology is the band's best album for almost a decade, barring 2009's 'Journals'. I am very pleased to hear it reached number 2 in the album chart in the UK (beaten by Ed Sheeran's X which spent it's 3rd week at the top), although I'd have liked it if it became their second number 1 album, which is something fans have been waiting for, for a very long time (They only ever topped the album chart in 1998.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 23, 2014
    10
    A masterpiece !!! A group that deserves our respect .Great songs , a Berlin atmosphere , the spirit of Krautrock , fresh andA masterpiece !!! A group that deserves our respect .Great songs , a Berlin atmosphere , the spirit of Krautrock , fresh and genious . I love that album Full Review »