Review by Dom Vigil
The best way to listen to Rare Futures’ new album, This Is Your Brain On Love, is with a pair of headphones, some free time, and your full, undivided attention. From beginning to end, all thirteen songs are intricate, full and well written, but if you find yourself distracted for too long, you’re bound to miss something incredible. It’s quite possibly the best thing about This Is Your Brain On Love - you never know what is around the next corner.
“Reminding Me To Live” starts things off on a warm, full note, and though each song on This Is Your Brain On Love has its own strengths and little quirks, this track definitely gives listeners a good taste of what to expect on the album, from strong bass work and intricate, funky guitar to stellar vocal harmonies and constantly changing tempo and tone. Rare Futures waste no time throwing you into their complex and intricate songwriting with the massive track, which only seems to grow as it moves forward, but thankfully, it never feels too long or overdone.
Much like “Reminding Me To Live,” there is quite a bit going on in “Ride The Snake” as well, but again, it never feels too busy. A strong, simple drum beat and catchy bass line serves as the backbone of the song, with incredible vocal harmonies, guitar work and keys that give it the full sound that can be found on much of the album. “Ride The Snake” just feels effortless. The following song, "Mercury (And Opposite Planets)" expands on this sound, but with a more fuzzy, laid back tone.
Each song on This Is Your Brain On Love is very complex and well thought out, but thankfully, no track feels forced. The album flows together easily, both throughout each track and between songs, and the intricate moments feel effortless, making the album very inviting and easy to listen to. This is both a strength and weakness, though, because each song demands your full attention, and with each track taking on these complex moments, it can be hard to find a standout among standouts. Thankfully, “The Pressure” comes along five tracks in and shakes things up a bit, with groovy key parts and beautiful sweeping guitar work.
Listening to This Is Your Brain On Love in one sitting may seem like a daunting task, but if you set aside the time to do so, you won’t regret it. While some songs may flow together or sound a bit similar, there are absolutely some tracks that stand apart from the pack. “Cool My Mind I Reverie,” for instance hosts some of the album’s best vocal work. However, that’s not to say that the rest of the band falls to the wayside. The drumming throughout the song is fast but quiet, keeping things moving forward with a soft urgency, and the guitar work is beautiful. The way the song later fades out into the soft key part is absolutely stunning as well, really catching you by surprise. Even on an album full of incredible songwriting, there are moments like the ending of “Cool My Mind I Reverie” that will still blow your mind. Other standouts include “This Is Your Future (Lost in a Black Hole),” as it is one of the fuller and more diverse songs on the album, taking on more of a solid rock sound, and the groovy and fun “Hope.”
It may take a few listens before you fully grasp just how much hard work and skill went into crafting This Is Your Brain On Love, but once you do, it’ll be impossible to stop listening to this album. There isn’t a single down moment - even in the quiet parts, there is always something interesting happening. Rare Futures allow you to breathe in between wild instrumentals, but they’re always throwing something new your way, and the result is an incredibly smart, fun and intricate release.
Listen to "Ride The Snake" or "The Pressure"
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