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Future Songs

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 8, 2002
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Future Songs + Population Four
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Editorial Reviews

Future Songs is the seventh album from the Cranes, probably one of the most misinterpreted bands on the planet. The Cranes have often been portrayed as industrial noise merchants, more often as simple goths. One reviewer described singer Alison Shaw as "a baby trapped in a toolbox"; this was intended as a blithe putdown, yet, taken from a different perspective, it's strangely accurate. Deliberately juxtaposing her vocals--her plaintive, unearthly voice delivering painfully open songs of love and loss--with her brother Jim's often punishing soundscapes, the Cranes were always primarily concerned with the way innocents are bruised and broken by life's hard, cold machinery. With Future Songs, they continue along the same path, with Alison still clinging to childlike hopes of happiness, despite the collapse of her relationships, and again producing a heart-wrenching set of melodies. And Jim Shaw, no longer intent upon bludgeoning his audience into submission, creates an ingenious and deeply moving backdrop, ranging from the dubby ambience of "Don't Wake Me Up" to the delicate acoustic guitar of "Even When." Future Songs is another superb collection from a laudably diligent, gloriously idiosyncratic, and tremendously gifted band. --Dominic Wills

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Future Song 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Submarine 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Flute Song 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Sunrise 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Don't Wake Me Up 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Driving in the Sun 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Fragile 5:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Eight 1:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Even When 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Everything for 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. The Maker of Heavenly Trousers 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Fragile (Remix) 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Don't Wake Me Up (Remix) 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. In the Reeds 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 8, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Instinct Records
  • ASIN: B00005R601
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,591 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DeathfromAFar on November 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Cranes have long been one of my all time favorite bands. Albums like "loved" and "winged of joy" are truely good albums, with Alison Shaws "little girl lost vocals" driving probably the best "shoegazer/goth" sounds around. If you have heard none of these albums, its kind of a Cocteau Twins meets Slowdive meets My Bloody valentine. There has been a long gap between albums, but the Cranes have continued to tour, and continue to entrall their cult and fanatical fan base ( check out their unofficial web site to get an idea).
The last studio album , Population Four, was a disappointment, with a much more radio friendly and acessable sound. All in all it was very average as the very best points about the Cranes - eerie etheral vocals, wal of sound guitars, subtle yet pounding bass, were lost.
This album is a road to recovery- it is far less radio friendly than "Population Four" but is still a long way removed from the earlier sounds.There are hints though- the first track "Future Sougs" is pure Classical Cranes. A standout track, while the rest still just does not rely heavily enough on the Cranes great strengths. This is still a very good album, gentle listener, but just does not have the punch of earlier days. If you are new to the Cranes, I recommend this AND "loved" to give you the full gamut. I look forward to the next installment with some anticipation.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reticuli on February 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
[Amazon should probably combine these reviews with those for the import version.] This album marks Jim Shaw's return to the production chair, to the relief of Cranes' fans. While I enjoyed the acoustic flavors and flawless sound engineering behind Population Four, I think everyone had to admit it lacked the production and symphonic tapestries of their previous works. Like Pop 4, Future Songs does not obscure the vocals into the sound field, nor do any of the lyrics appear to be in a foreign language, as "Adoration" seemed. For some reason, I'm most impressed with the first and last songs of the album, which are both less experimental than the other tracks. Yet those others show an intriguing new direction for the band. Some of Jim's production is very reminiscent of the electronics behind Depeche Mode's newest, "Exciter". No doubt some of the same Pro Tools samples and processing were used. The subtle layering also shows off the band's return to that deep soundstage fans have grown so fond of. The mixing and mastering strikes me as superbly neutral, but also rather unforgiving of wall reflections. So, it will definitely sound best in a treated room or with nearfield speakers positioned in the center of the listening space. The mastering enginneer, Sean Magee at Abbey Road, is one of my all time favorite pros out there. He also did Radiohead's OK Computer (Listen to the midrange on Paranoid Android). Future Songs still isn't quite a total return to the Forever and Loved days, but it's an enticing path Cranes are heading down. I don't know about you, but I'm eager to hear their next one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erica Anderson on October 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have always wanted to check out Cranes' music for awhile now. I was intrigued by an interview with the brother/sister act in an issue of OUTBURN from last year. I came across "Future Songs" today in the used bins and thought this was a good time for me to check them out. The second I put this cd into my stereo I must admit that I was a bit put off by the childlike vocals of Ali Shaw. She reminded me a bit of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval. In fact this entire cd reminded me a lot of Mazzy Star, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and a smidgeon of The Cocteau Twins. After I listened more into the cd, Ali's vocals became less and less grating on me. I became more accustomed to her child-like vocals. The music was a bit more mellower than I expected which for me can be a slight problem since I like my music loud and fast. Nevertheless I found the Cranes' music very relaxing to listen. I particularly enjoyed songs such as "Sunrise" and "The Maker of Heavenly Trousers" (which I thought was the stand out track for me on the entire album). I don't know if the bonus remixes were that necessary to include on the album. To be honest, the remix for "Don't Wake Me Up" didn't sound any more different than the original version. For all its flaws, I immensely enjoyed "Future Songs". I found the music to be very soothing to listen to, and it will especially be very soothing to listen to after a hard day's work at the office.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
See my review for Cranes "Loved" for the first one you should buy.

I should really say that this album gets played almost as much as "Loved", and it probably would get more play if not for the "Lilies" and "Lilies (Flood Mix)" on the "Loved" album.

"Future Song" starts things off, hypnotic and sensual.

"Submarine" delivers a trippy and stoned natural high.

"Flute Song" is lush and beautiful and sexy, and I could listen to it over and over all day long.

"Sunrise" is so lyrically beautiful, with wonderfully layers harmonics during the chorus, delivered by guitar at first, then Alison's own voice in the final repeats. Chills!

The casual attitude of "Don't Wake Me Up" is reminiscent of a walk in the night through bohemian city streets.

"Driving in the Sun" is just that, a perfect song for a drive through the country.

"Fragile" is one of their fan favorites, probably for its hypnotic and sensual qualities.

The "Eight" instrumental/noise piece seems out of place, but it works as a good wakeup in preparation for the next song...

"Even When" has got to be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. The lyrics are simply gorgeous, and the bridge and closing refrains are enough to make me want to cry with happiness every time I hear them.

The instrumental "Everything For" has a nice blend of rhythmic ambience and melodic tones.

"The Maker of Heavenly Trousers" is a very laid back song with a countrified guitar riff.

The "Fragile (Remix)" and "Don't Wake Me Up (Remix)" are just that, remixed versions of the songs with a slightly different setup on the mixing board. Not a whole lot new, but different tonal variations of each of the songs.
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