- The Far Field

Future Islands - The Far Field
CRITIC SCORE
76
Based on 27 reviews
2017 Rank: #239 / 582
USER SCORE
74
Based on
170 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

The Far Field ... is every bit as catchy as its predecessor, but it also shows more depth and variety ... The Far Field is more of a start-to-finish experience, the 12 tracks building on each other to generate a larger feeling of grandeur.

90
Exclaim!

This is pop music designed to give you all the feels, and even with a disruptive pseudo-reggae track thrown into the mix ("Candles"), Future Islands prove that they can do it better than anyone else right now.

85
The Line of Best Fit

The more time I spend with this album, the more I suspect that its creators may be in the process of securing their place in the lineage of the Great American Rock Band.

80
The Skinny

Precisely because they share so much in aesthetic and lyrical content, what was immediately engaging on Singles is not so on The Far Field. What was previously disarming in its honesty, we now expect and prepare for. This doesn’t mean that the quality has suffered, it has just softened.

80
NME

‘The Far Field’ might be an album that consolidates what Future Islands have got, which is considerably more than a few years back. Frankly, no band deserves it more.

80
DIY

On ‘The Far Field’ Future Islands have captured their humanity in all its sparkling, chaotic glory.

80
God Is in the TV

Whilst there are new additions to their sound, overall this record appears to find them in a holding pattern. For now, this pattern still suits them. The Far Field is another lovely Future Islands record that’s brimming with as much charm as their best work.

80
Paste

New fans may expect another Singles epiphany — a near-flawless jigsaw puzzle of beats, synths, bass and fervor — but pushed to even higher heights. But longtime listeners may recognize in this new album as a solid continuation what Future Islands have been selling for over a decade.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

The Far Field is carried by light catharsis, diffused and mild-tempered fun, virtuosic vocal delivery, and steel-clean production.

80
No Ripcord

The Far Field is a cathartic listen, an album that wears its emotions on its sleeve. It's all here, the good times and bad, the hope and despair, laid out for all to see and feel. It's rare that you hear albums that brazenly bear their writers' soul, while remaining this effortlessly enjoyable.

80
The 405

The Far Field is a triumph – it shows Future Islands refusing to buckle under newfound pressure, and instead creating another stellar record to add to their burgeoning catalogue.

80
musicOMH

As they’ve taken so long to get where they are, let them enjoy what they do most, and that is to create an album ram-packed full of top-notch melodic synth-pop – a triumph from start to finish.

76
Pitchfork

Five albums in, Future Islands are beyond reinvention. Instead, they tap into the emotion that runs deep under their synth-pop, and the results are more cathartic and devastating than ever.

75
Under The Radar

While there isn't a song as massive as "Seasons (Waiting on You)," Future Islands haven't plateaued; they've managed a follow-up record that can look their best work in the eye.

75
Pretty Much Amazing

“Formulaic” isn’t usually a compliment, but why complain when the formula is this solid?

75
Northern Transmissions

It’s truly exciting to hear Future Islands moving even further into pop on this album without losing what makes their sound so unique.

70
PopMatters

By confining themselves within the framework they have created, Future Islands have created an instantly recognizable, defining sound through which they can still forge surprises. The Far Field is so cohesive and well-played throughout that the boundaries are invisible.

70
AllMusic

The Far Field isn't a failure or a misstep, since there are so many good songs and their basic sound is still so strong. It's a shame that the band and Congleton felt the need to pretty things up, to make them sound more sophisticated and domesticated.

70
Rolling Stone

The results are comically over-the-top but still warmly moving; he's the kind of guy who can make the line "we were the candles that lit up the snow on dusty roads" seem poignant.

70
Clash

‘The Far Field’ seems to fall victim to its own history. In failing to move beyond their catalogue Future Islands can at times feel as though they are simply treading water, honing a template rather than establishing something new.

67
Consequence of Sound

The Far Field serves as a reminder of how skilled Future Islands can be when everything locks into place, and even if it never reaches the highs of Singles, it more than holds its own.

67
GIGsoup

While Future Islands’ ‘The Far Field’ may not cover much diverse musical ground, Samuel T. Herring’s brutal, trembling honesty breathes life into the tragedy behind the production.

60
Loud and Quiet

While there can be no doubt that they have produced a ream of solid pop songs which can be admired in isolation, taken as a whole body of work, their oeuvre is starting to feel a little staid and disappointing.

60
Slant Magazine

As unique as Herring's voice is, and as distinctive as the band's bright, bass-driven music about gloomy topics may be, Future Islands remains in a holding pattern on The Far Field, seemingly content to take what works and repeat it ad nauseam.

60
The Guardian

While their fifth album is not a giant leap forwards, all their essential elements are intact and thriving, and it reaffirms their mastery of modern synthpop.

60
The Needle Drop

The Far Field, the fifth album from NC synthpop trio Future Islands, is a serious case of musical déjà vu.

50
Drowned in Sound

Apart from the new wave prom dance of 'Candles', The Far Field plays out like a treadmill – same tempos, same whining siren wails from the synths, same bass undulation.

Apr 10, 2017
EMR
72
Future Islands' new full lenght LP brings the band in a more solid and matured state. Here we find them doing exactly what they needed to improve their on-studio sound, with a broader sound palette and a more involving production quality that really helps giving these beautiful songs the polishing they deserve, all while Sam Herring's vocals get the treatment and the freedom they craved for in previous Future Islands' albums, finally resulting in a charming and cohesive experience that has ... read more
Sep 19, 2017
SaulCLRadiohead
100
Synthpop ADDICTIVE
Jun 23, 2017
PJ_0707
60
The singer's voice is the biggest draw here. Everything else about the band seems tired. The synthpop here isn't a dramatic departure from their other work. Take the vocals off if this and It would be hard to tell apart from so many other rock bands that are moving in a more pop oriented fashion. Similar to their past albums there are a few moments of greatness but it's not enough to carry an entire album over. Run is pleasant and Cave really stands out as the best The Far Field has to offer. ... read more
Jun 19, 2017
57
I really tried to find something remotely appealing about this record but I guess it's not my cup of tea. The combination between the glossy production and Herring's vocals is just so weird to me, like all the effects they do to his voice don't make it sound better at all. I had a realization by the end of the record and is that almost all of the songs here have the same structure, the same melody, the same guitar progression and the same ending... like really? Couldn't they get a bit more ... read more
Jun 11, 2017
Music_Observer
66
This synthpop adventure was rather wayward and watered down, especially with the rather unpleasant vocals, but it still had pleasurable moments through steady harmonic flow and constant energy to make the experience worthwhile. My Score: 119/180 (Good) = 66/100
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April 7, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
4AD / Label
Synthpop / Genres
Tags
Track List
  1. Aladdin
  2. Time On Her Side
  3. Ran
  4. Beauty of the Road
  5. Cave
  6. Through the Roses
  7. North Star
  8. Ancient Water
  9. Candles
  10. Day Glow Fire
  11. Shadows (feat. Debbie Harry)
  12. Black Rose


Added on: February 1, 2017