Feb 5, 2021It’s hard to imagine a more prescient-sounding record than one that explores how nascent technologies affect our motivations as modern consumers at a time when we’re all frantically buying online to stave off the effects of lockdown. The songs dealing directly with this are The Future Bites’ most captivating. ... There’s no need for the buyer to be wary here. The Future Bites is guaranteed to weather the ravages of time.
Jan 27, 2021Despite its dark, cautionary subject matter, The Future Bites is Steven Wilson’s most powerful and commercially appealing set to date. Beautifully produced—it’s one of the first studio albums of new material mixed in Dolby Atmos surround—this is the bristling sound of Wilson taking a bite into the future of prog-rock.
Jan 26, 2021The Future Bites is neither a huge stylistic departure nor the betrayal that many Wilson diehards have claimed it to be. Conceptually, the album revolves around a post-apocalyptic vision of an overly materialist society, and while the electro-pop trappings are almost never “happy,” they serve as a slick backdrop to the dystopian landscape Wilson envisions.
Feb 5, 2021This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An extension of what he dabbled with on his previous album, The Future Bites is an exercise in progression. While one critic has called it the OK Computer of the Amazon era, I would consider this akin to Kid A in that it adds elements without detracting from how enjoyable each songs are. And, in a few cases, these songs would fit on some of his older albums, be it 12 Things I Forgot on Hand. Cannot. Erase; Count of Unease on Stupid Dream from Porcupine Tree; or Eminent Sleaze on The Jokes on You from Karma. Lead single, Personal Shopper, while including Elton John and background singers on the chorus, is a 9 minute experience with a funky, dance beat and beautifully harmonized tenor voice from Steven on the bridge (which appears twice) and includes a hard rock coda. And Steven hasn't abandoned rock. Eminent Sleaze includes the Chapman stick and a guitar solo while Follower sounds perfect for 80s rock.… Expand
Feb 4, 2021Judge this album for what it is, not what it isn't. What it isn't: a Porcupine Tree record replete with random key and time signature changes;Judge this album for what it is, not what it isn't. What it isn't: a Porcupine Tree record replete with random key and time signature changes; noodly, interminable guitar solos; peripatetic ADHD toddler drumming, and whale noises. What it is: a mature and modern electronic pop album that employs a contemporary musical language to evoke the past without living in it. Wilson will never be Bowie, but I'll bet now he knows how Bowie felt c. 1975 or so: "Yeah, 'Young Americans' is weird and makes me uncomfortable, so I'd appreciate if Bowie could un-invent himself, re-hire the Spiders from Mars, and do "Ziggy Stardust" again, just with different songs. But not too different."… Expand
Jan 29, 2021This has the potential to be one of my favorite records from Wilson. Its beauty, especially shown in the track KING GHOST, which the vocalsThis has the potential to be one of my favorite records from Wilson. Its beauty, especially shown in the track KING GHOST, which the vocals and backing synths give the song a great atmosphere. Another example would be the track COUNT OF UNEASE, as its somber vibe makes this track one of the best in the album. I also like the concept of PERSONAL SHOPPER as it sets up the theme for the entire album in my opinion. The most interesting part of the album was the transition to more of a heavily inspired electronic/indie record with 80s/90s influences, which I was a sucker for a couple years back. Lastly, the only problem I have with this album is how massive of a shift from this installment was from the previous, which is why a lot of people might be turned off by this record or possibly bring in many more fans in the process. Overall though, I still think this is a great and catchy record (in which this might the be Wilson's catchiest solo record) and I don’t mind the change.… Expand
Feb 6, 2021My score lies between ripcord and AllMusic scores.. could listen to the whole album.. although heard interesting sounds along the way inMy score lies between ripcord and AllMusic scores.. could listen to the whole album.. although heard interesting sounds along the way in general imho more akin with a 80s Peter Gabriel album, so a bit old school for the 2021s.… Expand
Feb 5, 2021His 'least interesting' offering to date. However, King Ghost is excellent, beautiful and amazing imho (ty SW). Moving on... 12 Things IHis 'least interesting' offering to date. However, King Ghost is excellent, beautiful and amazing imho (ty SW). Moving on... 12 Things I Forgot is basically a Pete Frampton/Blackfield mix that I like, but it's ultimately weak and should be on a Blackfield album. Count of Ease shows that SW knows where to put a great track on an album, to give it a powerful finale. 2 great moments, 1 nostalgic track (wishing for a decent Blackfield album again) and the rest is drab mediocre pop that is trying to be edgy and sophisticated but is, ultimately and regrettably, forgettable.
This is the first time in 6 albums I didn't by his 'super deluxe' version... and, thankfully, I feel like I dodged an expensive and non-essential bullet.… Expand
Feb 3, 2021Steven Wilson has the absolute right to abandon his ambition and cash in on easy soulless pop music, and as a die-hard fan, I have theSteven Wilson has the absolute right to abandon his ambition and cash in on easy soulless pop music, and as a die-hard fan, I have the absolute right to hate it.
Look, do I blame the dude? Absolutely not. If I had spent my entire life making some of the best music in existence only to receive mild acclaim, I'd be kinda mad, too. I'd want to do something easy. This is like a world class chef with Michelin stars and multiple cook books buying a few McDonald's restaurants just to make a quick buck.
This is the same man who has written Homeric Epics like "Anesthetize," "Arriving Somewhere Not Here," and "Time Flies." Someone who belongs in a Hall of Fame unto themselves for remastering, collaboration, and inspiration.
And he's making terrible pop garbage.
Within seconds of putting my CD in my car, I became a faceless drone of attention-seeking cacophony, because the distorted bass is the same thing your hear in every Walmart parking lot in the ghetto. That same guttural bass rumbling and license-plate slapping BRRRRRRT from people who have no qualms on trying to be deaf by their 40's.
The music, itself, has the same pattern as someone who's recently drawn inspiration from blasé hackneyed artists like the Weeknd and Lorde, grinding through the paces of mediocrity like a high-schooler who downloaded a free app trying to emulate the much less sophomoric efforts of Daft Punk.
What's most insulting is that the album feels like a parody of itself. Even the name "The Future Bites" insults you, insinuating that the current state of music is not to entertain, only to repress and neutralize your brain, but then flagrantly using every heartless computer program to ram another bass-drop down your throat. In the song "Eminent Sleaze," Wilson talks about skeezy, slimy, untrustworthy people who are only out for your money by brandishing a sharp suit and a fake smile.
It's utterly ironic, intentional or not, that this album is the personification of the latter two things.
I'm going to keep trying, but currently I just feel insulted as a fan of Wilson's. Maybe one day it will click. Maybe one day the silver pills and soma will just knock me into an unconscious state where I can appreciate something on this album.
But until then, I think I'll throw on some Opeth and think of better times.… Expand
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